These Feelings

God has been on my mind lately. Or, really, the idea of God has. I am a non-believer in God as presented by the Church, but do believe in the idea of God or a higher power. Today, at the hospital where my wife was receiving outpatient, I was walking around and found myself drawn to the various chapels that Johns Hopkins has. I’d walk in and poke around a bit. They are small and rather unassuming, most likely because they need to appeal to people of various religions. I’d didn’t stay or speak with anyone, as they were all empty, but I wanted to see if I felt anything. I didn’t, and never do when I’m in a church. Not sure if I should or shouldn’t, really, though I think I’m always hoping to. Once we finally got home the first three lines just came to me and then the rest within a few minutes.

I want to, I need to, I gotta believe

Soulless, clueless

And I can’t even breathe.

Thoughts I have, ain’t even mine

Horrified, outraged

Like some bold type headline.

This ain’t me, who I am, what happened here

Educated, loved

How come all this fear.

All my own, on my own, no one to lead

Follower, leader

Man, it’s hard to believe.

Made it this far, though I’ll surely need more

Straighten things out, or I’m bound to be poor.

Poor mind, body & spirit, gotta keep reaching

Or I’ll never get near it.

Salvation is at the end, down that one lane

Get your number, punch your ticket

And by God you’ll be saved.

 

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Windowsill Kinda Life

New life has fresh eyes, it reflects what it sees. It learns what is and isn’t to be. The surroundings it is in will help determine it’s fate. Set on a shelf and left to be, life gets whittled down. Where promise and hope once rose now stands a vacant and hollow self. But with with lots of sunlight and love a life may be slowed but it will never be stopped. Onward and upward, to blossom into it’s own. To love and be loved.

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Deep Thoughts On Sunrise

-Originally posted on FB on 11/20/15

I woke up early this morning and had the pleasure of catching a great sunrise. Sunrise and sunset are my favorite, and for very different reasons. One is at the end of the day and the other the beginning, obviously, but they offer such different things. Sunset is literally like a curtain call. It’s the end of the day and ushers in the night. It can bring a sense of excitement or also one of foreboding. We find plenty of pleasure in the activities of our nightlives but for me, as good and enjoyable as sunsets can be, they don’t offer the same lift.
Sunrises, however, brings a rebirth. What I get or see in a sunrise is what I think people seek or get from church. It’s peaceful, calming, brings a sense of hope, and can even offer direction. Looking out this morning over Orleans street at the sun coming up I couldn’t help but be in awe of how beautiful the city was. With all it’s flaws and ugliness, Baltimore gets the same thing every other city gets. A fresh start. Shadows still hide parts while other areas begin to shine brightly as the golden hues of sunrise wash over them. Each day the city has a chance to be better than the last.
Sunrise also brings a fresh start and a renewed sense of hope to all of us. Every single day we can be better, do more, live fuller than the previous day. We all get that chance. We’re all the same in that regard. We may be in different places, have different incomes, varied beliefs, morals of either high or low standards, but as long as we’re living then each day offers new hope.
We do with it what we choose but it’s always there for the taking. Carpe Diem is never more true than at sunrise.

Feeling good about life!

With so much negativity in our world today staying positive can be a full time job. Or even worse, it can be a chore. Nobody really likes chores and what began as something necessary or a way to earn a reward ends up being a weight we carry around, slowly sliding lower and lower until we just drop it altogether.
Being positive can go just like that. You start off all happy and upbeat then slowly but surely you become less upbeat and less focused on the satisfaction you get from being positive. I am wholly guilty of this and have been for some time. Even though it takes more out of you to be negative its also an easier headspace to work into. Remaining positive in the face of adversity is challenging. How many times do you have to hold the door for somebody only to slowly realize that nobody seems to do the same for you? Eventually you do it less and less until you no longer worry about getting the door for anyone. We are a ‘what have you done for me’ society so this kind of attitude can be easily justified.
What’s missing from this scenario is the reward, and it isn’t having a door held for you. It’s the feeling of doing something good, and being a positive part of someone’s day. Someone may be having a horrible day and we’d have no way of knowing. Maybe they were hurrying to get into work with their hands full and someone randomly held the door for them. It might not register or make a difference, but maybe later that night it stuck with them and the next day they made an effort to return the favor.
It’s a basic example of helping, which I’m equating to positivity, but its really as simple as just acknowledging people that elicits a positive reward. Those positive rewards build within us and slowly become a sort of bank on which we can draw from to overcome negativity we face.
Who am I to pontificate on positivity or tell people how to better themselves? No one, really. Just a man with some thoughts, feelings, and a desire to be better.

Exploring the Past, Embracing the Future

Late in the evening of November 4, 2015 my wife, Stephanie, and I were sitting in the ER when we heard the life-changing words, “…we think you most likely have Leukemia.” Since then we’ve both asked plenty of questions and searched for answers. The typical ‘why me’, ‘what now’, and ‘how’ were certainly present but also dismissed fairly quickly. I don’t know how long it took to dismiss them, but they were.

Instead what we did was to, the best we could at the time, embrace the change and prepare for our fight. With any form of cancer time is a precious commodity that shouldn’t be wasted on negative thoughts and feelings. My wife isn’t a negative person and is universally known as a positive and happy spirit. She doesn’t dwell, get into negative head space, or otherwise loose sight of her goals. In this case her goal was singular: beat this disease and return to her family happy and healthy.

I, on the other hand, am not a shinning beacon of positivity but a deb-downer with a penchant for focusing on the negatives. Or at least I was before this experience began. Time turns over is, I guess, just another way of saying move forward but it will be more than that. It’s gonna be my way embracing change while questioning long-held convictions that I’ve allowed myself to inhabit and run my life.

Like those long-held convictions, my past is something I think about often and sometimes struggle with. By looking at my past and how it relates to who I want to be I feel I’ll better be able to embrace the future and the changes to come. While all of this might seems obvious or like common sense, to me there is a lot to look at and plenty of insight to be gained, and it’s my hope that some of my lessons will not only help me but also others. I don’t pretend to be a self-help guru, counselor, or even an inspirational kind of guy but I do believe we all have a unique point of view and this, simply, is mine.