søren kierkegaard

It is a sad but altogether too common inversion to go on talking continually about how the object of love must be so it can be loveworthy, instead of talking about how love must be so it can be love.


The Christian point of view is that to love is to love precisely the person one sees. The emphasis is not on loving the perfections one sees in a person, but the emphasis is on loving the person one sees, whether one sees perfections or imperfections in this person, yes, however distressingly this person has changed, inasmuch as he has not ceased to be the same person. He who loves the perfections he sees in a person does not see the person and therefore ceases to love if the perfections cease, when the change begins, although this change, even the most distressing, still does not mean that the person ceases to exist...
Christian love is not supposed to soar up to heaven, since it comes from heaven and with heaven. It comes down and thereby accomplishes loving the same person in all his changes, because it sees the same person in all the changes. Purely human love is continually in the process of flying away after, so to speak, or flying away with, the beloved's perfections. We say of a seducer that he steals a girl's heart, but of all purely human love, even when it is most beautiful, we must say that it has something thievish about it, that it really steals the beloved's perfections, whereas Christian love grants the beloved all his imperfections and weaknesses and in all his changes remains with him, loving the person it sees.



so...i'm shameless. is there anyone out there that enjoys cutting hair and is at least half-way decent at it? maybe i'm just cheap or something but i know that oddly enough there is usually a girl or two who just really likes doing that sort of thing. so, if that's you--let me know!


contest results

well, so that was a bit tougher than i thought it was going to be (though 5 of them were at least nominated for academy awards in the past--but a lot of them are kinda older movies). no one got more than 2 right without cheating, and there were a few of you who did that. so...i'm curving this test and giving everyone an A! that means if you ask for one of these albums or another soundtrack i could get ahold of i'll make you a copy. just let me know! thanks everyone for playing. here are the answers:

1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - The Encounter
2. Atonement - Briony
3. Batman Begins - Molossus
4. Road to Perdition - Rock Island, 1931
5. The Edge - Lost in the Wild (this is probably one of my favorite themes--rare soundtrack to find today)
6. The Usual Suspects - Main Theme
7. Gladiator - Strength and Honor
8. Braveheart - The Princess Pleads for Wallace's Life
9. Last of the Mohicans - Main Theme
10. The Shawshank Redemption - Stoic Theme


name that soundtrack!

a contest. welcome. as some of you may or may not know i am something of a large fan of film scores. i have over 50 albums from different movies of my favorite scores throughout the years. every now and then the public will latch on to a theme from a movie and use it for commercials and other previews and all sorts of stuff (recent example--little miss sunshine). but for the most part the beautiful albums full of music go unknown to many modern music fans.

the oscars returned my attention to my love of movie music. i didn't know the scores particularly well this year but i was somewhat disappointed with the win by slumdog. i loved that it won everything else, and best song as well. but as scores go it was unique, but not entirely amazing. i enjoyed it, but i felt it wasn't the strongest. the score for "defiance" is tremendous. but of course i'm not saying i know more than the mysterious "the academy."

so i thought we would play a little game. below are 10 different tracks from some of my favorite scores. see how many you can guess--1 point for the movie its from, 1/2 point bonus if you can also tell me the name of the track. it won't be easy, and yeah i know it will take awhile--but it will be fun! and all the music is super good. don't look it up! that's cheating. so is looking at other people's answers--don't do that either.

the winner will get a copy of whichever score they want! good luck!












"everything is so amazing and no one is happy"

this video is hilarious and profound. i wanted to embed it but a stupid network has taken it off youtube. i won't name the network so they don't find this version of it on fb. anyway, you really should watch it. very funny. a guy named louis ck on a certain late night show. go check it out!

watch it!


a night with st. benedict

Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?

i don't think i know many people who could read that sentence and not feel stirred. and in part, because i believe for each one of us there is that sense that life must be yearned for, that it is a bit further away still--as are the good days.

don't confuse this longing for that which we refer to as the desire for heaven. no, we long for something much more present, something we believe can be found in this life. perhaps we have had the hints and tastes of it that cause us to seek for it evermore. or perhaps we have felt the momentary joys that did not bring the fulfillment we thought they might, and so we wonder what ever truly will make up these elusive good days. where is life as it was meant to be? have we no hope at present? must we just wait for death and seek refuge in our longings for heaven? or do we dare to believe that the kingdom of heaven has begun here and now? and that we can be a part of it?

i feel many cannot let themselves answer benedict's question here, for they have found many ways to numb and comfort themselves against this longing. not simply because that is so easy to do in this day and age and culture, with all our toys and technology, but because they have no idea truly how to find that desire fulfilled at all. the desire is much too painful, and we fear that even for a lifetime of striving we will not know our reward.

but still that question hits us. and we stir for life. and in all we do we cannot ever get rid of it. so will we pursue it? or spend our lives in flight?

Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.

america hasn't really set itself up in a way to allow for really deep roots. i fear many of our churches have cultivated a faith that will bear little. any little drought will dry up our plants. or they be but just little seedlings that will be flooded out by any torrent. how many of the godly men and women have grown strong because of the church? or would it be more in spite of the church? no it is not that black and white, but 52 sundays will not suffice.

and so the harder path calls. and the path of God's commandments are so much more than the laws and duties of morality. no, it is the calling to death of our lives. it may be the call to drop your nets and leave everything, or to speak to the stranger at the next table. there will be many, and we do what we can to learn to refuse him nothing. but that seems so far away. do not be daunted!

oh to find our hearts full of the overflowing and inexpressible delight of love! how seldom is this love truly known today? Lord lead us in the way of compassion to truly see you in all of our brothers and sisters, and to see all as our brothers and sisters. only by your voice can we learn to walk in this.

Arrange everything so that the strong have something to yearn for and so that the weak have nothing to run from.

Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die.

ha! i don't know that there is any more advice that could be more counter-cultural than this simple word. sure every now and then there is the sporadic message that we cannot live forever. but we do not live with this reality, especially every day. and yet we cannot deny this truth. there is even something somewhat strangely freeing in it. it frees us from so many fears, from so many unrealistic expectations, from the wrong sort of attachment to this world.

"i'm going to die." let yourself say it right now. it may be soon. it may be many years from now. but letting yourself say and know that is not morbid. no, it certainly calls forth the longing to not waste your life. if you are following Christ then it should not scare you. if you are not then it begs you to ask what you are living for, or what it is that might make that time before death worth it.

we cannot truly treat every day like one we in which we knew it was our last. that is unreasonable and there are things we must do to sustain life over many days. like rest--we would not rest if we knew it was our last day, but we cannot live every day without rest. but knowing that i am going to die, would i have spent a couple hours playing settlers of catan online tonight? well maybe actually. all things have their place and there is no need to be snobby about it all. but still, let us live with the weight of our time--not as a burden but as an opportunity.

ask yourself, "when i am on my deathbed, what will i want to see when i look back on my life?" let us not take that as generic encouragement either. i won't necessarily want to see great memorable deeds or that which will bring me personal glory and remembrance, but rather that i lived my days for a greater purpose, and at the hand of God himself, following the divine whisper and knowing that our days have been good--not by our deeming or judged by our feelings, but because they have been given and declared so by our loving father. that we would soon hear, "well done, my good and faithful servant."

There are times when good words are to be left unsaid out of esteem for silence. Diligently cultivate silence at all times, especially at night.


books you should read!

welcome to the first installment in an unending part series, entitled "books you should read!" i was loaning a book to a friend the other day--i had a specific one in mind but when i went to pull it off my shelf i thought, "oh man but there are so many i would love to give him!" i know that people can't read all the time or as neurotically as me (technically currently reading 12 books at the moment--i'm not saying it's a good thing), or that reading all these books will make everything better or that knowledge is the answer (though a good book will touch much more). still, there are a lot of really great books out there.

you see i am weird and i read 12 books at once. i don't know why entirely. it's funny because i never read hardly at all before college. am i making up for lost time? well i have several bookshelves full now and i wouldn't want anyone else to read every single one of those books, so i figured i would just highlight my favorites for you. i don't claim to be an expert or that i have some special authority because of how well-read i am. i'm not really that well read--just in a couple particular niches.

so, enough explanations and prefaces. prefaces are for books.


i figured if the first book i recommended was 800+ pages then it could only get better right? every other book i ever put on here will be shorter! unless i decide to put up les mis....

so let me present my favorite book of all time:

The Brothers Karamazov

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

the first section is a little hard to get into, especially if you are not used to russian literature (this is one of my niches). but if you work your way through it i promise you it will be more than worth it. you will be rewarded with a mystery story that is so much more than just that. you will discover vivid characters that represent the many facets of the human soul--you can see yourself in many of them and they will really stick with you. you find some of the most interesting and fascinating philosophy about humanity, christianity, and the church. and it's all on a very accessible level.

usually when i do this i will probably include some quotes from the book--but in this novel all the best passages would give away too much of the story, and i hate when that happens. so i won't do that. i strongly recommend the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, as they are the consensus best. even though it is a translation there are still many rich passages of moving language.

ok let me get a little literary on you here. one of dostoevsky's greatest contributions to literature is something literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin called "polyphony," that is, "many voices." dostoevsky was truly the first to write giving each of the character's ideas and viewpoints a true individual representation. therefore there are several sets of philosophies throughout this novel in particular and each one of them is given a fair voice, allowing them to truly conflict within the reader's mind without giving them easy judgments and characterizations on which is right and best. it is probably better described here. i'm not sure i read it that way--i think fyodor had a point to make and wasn't just advocating pluralism, but he also wasn't afraid to fully expand the opposing ideas and even show the contradictions in his own beliefs--dostoevsky was a very ardent christian. and it's interesting to see how dostoevsky is referred to as one of the first existentialists, but he is still very rooted in faith. for christian existentialism though you'll have to check out this guy. as for our buddy fyodor on all that, you will just have to draw your own conclusions when you read it!

and if you're not interested in all that technical/philosophical/literary stuff it is still well worth your time.

this is one of the few books i have read more than once, despite its length. i'm not much of a re-reader, though i would like to be more. i'm fully confident i will read it again sometime--probably when i am much older. but in the meantime i heartily recommend it to you.

this book changed my life. and you can't say that about very many books.


on a night in february

on a poor night when little is found
outside of the chest and head,
the little morsels do not give their fill.
when you are tired of a long day
that did not hold all that much–
you light a few candles
on top of the piano’s dancing.
but they are only speakers–
no one to play for you tonight,
or any night in recent memory.
speakers will do;
you can buy that sort of companionship.

your eyes burn red from the smoke,
and it’s harder now to keep them open,
holding up the night with great stamina.
for you cannot see what isn’t there–
in the light.
but if all is blind to one and another,
then what is and what isn’t
is just a matter of hope and luck.
and the days will fall quickly,
striving ahead toward the greater unknown–
for sometimes life isn’t enough in its offerings,
and yet we delay each new day with long nights.

do not care for the why.
do not look searchingly in the dark night.
let the time go
and do not hold it so close.
is this how life passes us by?
without a sense of what it’s all going to?
each day is an offering reluctantly given,
for who’s to say that tomorrow
will be any more generous?
while hope becomes a wish
and love a migrated bird
in this long cold winter.
rub your hands together–
and try not to spend too much time
watching the skies.


greg laswell

"i'd be lying"


on a long afternoon

am i foolish enough to believe
there is something i am waiting for?
something within these silly hopes
that the words i see spoken
with your hand over your mouth,
or in a guise of anonymity,
might match your once furtive glances--
over empty cups of tea, and beer?

we cannot seem to open the flue--
a light amidst smoke.
a warmth staggered by suffocation
of the long-known freedom
given by separation and isolation,
like a great plain waving goodbye in the wind,
as the winter fire spreads, consuming
these many fields between us.

but i don't seem to mind,
as i wait for these branches to bud.
for the days to grow long and hot,
when warmth is given much more freely.
i love a good fireplace.
and sometimes even late at night in summer,
i desire to hear it crackle.


educational video

some of you may have already seen this on nick's blog, and if you saw it there and didn't watch it you really should. props nick. this is for those who don't read his blog (because you don't know him)--i wanted to share it with you. yeah, it's that good.


kensington prairie

"crooked things straight"


feb. 15th

the ides of february is much less intimidating than next month. now, question--is it still the "ides" of february on the 15th since there are only 28 days in the month?* if it's the 14th than maybe we should again beware.

well it's another valentine's day come and gone. i watched a decidedly unromantic movie with some friends tonight. well, not romantic in that way. if you can call communist revolutionaries "romantic" in any sort of way. been wanting to see it for some time, and i'm glad i finally have. very interesting. and inspiring. not to become a communist--don't worry. but to travel south america. especially chile. anyone want to go with me? i wonder what communists would think of valentine's day....

it's a funny holiday to be sure. i don't need to say anything about it really as you've probably heard it all. i thought the picture was funny, but i'm not in all black or anti-the holiday or whatever. though i have to say--and i can say it now with a smile--that i was broken up with on valentine's day two years ago. what a crime! ha. no it is just funny thinking about it now. and somehow last year i ended up going to dinner with 5 single women. this year was a lot more normal, and i'm thankful for that.

still, you can't help but think about love a little bit. i've been thinking about going back and reading some of kierkegaard's works of love, but there is just so much that i want to read right now. i have them stacked up. i should crack it open though. the thing is, i've realized that for so much of what i've read about love in the past i've focused on it in the romantic sense. that has been such an idol for me in the past that it takes away my striving to learn how to love my brother better. to love my neighbor. to love without the great feelings. i try to be "good" to people. i love them easily in the ways that come natural to me. but i want to learn more. i want to be so much more full of love.

i received a letter today from my (former) brother-in-law. he's in prison right now. long story there. but it really breaks my heart. life and love. it can all seem so overwhelming at times. how do i love him where he is now? how can i go on pursuing all my own ends while he has nothing to pursue? he sits in his cell, works and gets "paid" $12 a month and has to use it to buy general hygiene products because the stuff they provide is so horrible. how can i ignore all my other "brothers" who are in prisons all around the world? all around me? bars or no.

oh lord increase my love. increase my love beyond just the stories of love i know--more than love for my family. more than love for my own. more than fighting for love like a romantic comedy. more than when i can fit it in my schedule. more than myself. let me lost my life truly. how can a day like today be even possibly one of self-pity? love is quite ready to abound. and there is no going without it. it is only a moment away wherever i might give it. lord lift my eyes up--to you and to those around me.


* the ides of a the month is on the 15th for March, May, July, and October. every other month it's on the 13th. crazy romans. learn something new everyday eh? or maybe you all already knew that. i sure didn't.


the perils of the parking lot: 1729

in case you didn't know, i have the most interesting parking lot in my back yard. it's a simple gravel lot--taken over what was once the back yard for this house when it was a single-family dwelling place. there are a couple of sheds back there. some random things are lying around. it seems normal enough. oh but if you only knew.

well i'm going to tell you, so now you'll know.

first, let's establish the setting a little better. most the cars park along the east side of the lot, while there are two spots in the southwest corner. i large red truck used to occupy one of these spots constantly--it has since disappeared and hasn't been seen for many months. in this corner there are also various assortments of stacked cinder block and bricks, a few orange road cones of different style, and an old cast-iron tub tipped over. i have no idea why any of those things are there.

we've done our part to add to the unique aura. there are bikes and bike parts scattered all over the side yard. the one working bike is chained to a bike rack, that is itself chained to a tree. there are tires and frames and other various parts in the yard and on our deck, which is up the stairs on the outside. on this deck is a box full of various clothing and who knows what else--it has been there since we moved in and i don't think any of us has ever really touched it. there is also a rolled up carpet hanging over the railing, sticking out just enough to extend out from under the covering. it's been rained/snowed on many times by now. these things have been our doing, but it only adds to the legend of all that encompasses this mysterious tract of land.

i've lived here nearly two years now, and during the vast majority of that time there has for whatever reason been a white car of some sort that has sat in the lot completely unused and unmoved. two or three of them. completely dead cars. in our lot. why? i don't know either. one day one of the cars was suddenly gone, only to show back up a week later with the side smashed in and the windows broken. it sat there until it vanished over this last summer. there have been a couple of other white cars as well. we have previously planned on setting on of them on fire and rolling it down into aggieville to start a riot. but that plan will have to wait until the next mysterious inoperable white car appears.

our parking lot has also been home to several bunnies. they would always await us as we pulled into the driveway, especially at night. they would watch us as we walked to and from our cars. cute little friends. one night as i was driving in my headlights even revealed little baby bunnies. cute little friends. haven't seen them in awhile though....

now if you've read this far and still aren't impressed, then you've just waited for the best of all. well, besides the time when there was a random pair of pink panties in our lot. it was out there, just on the ground. who knows why? i don't really want to. it got dirty--probably run over a few times. then it was gone. no but the really interesting story is this:

one day i was leaving my apartment. as i headed down the stairs i noticed that one of the guys from the basement was also walking out of the house. now, we don't really know the people in the basement too well. a couple of them are european. one blasts loud thumping base at random hours of the day and night. they keep kind of to themselves, and so do we. i wish it wasn't the case, but it is what it is. i mean, one of them doesn't speak much english. so anyway, i'm walking out and he is a little in front of me. i say hey and he gives me a nod. he is walking over to the southwest corner, where at the moment only my car was parked. i'm walking that way as well, wondering where he is going. he walks past my car and stands there, looking at the ground, kicking a few leaves away. i get in my car and eye contact is made for a brief moment. my eyes said nothing, but inside i was thinking "what the heck are you doing?" as i started my car and prepared to drive off, he walked to the back (south) end of the lot and looked at the ground there as well. hm. and that was that.

well a few days later i parked my car in the same spot, and i noticed something strange on the ground where this guy was looking. there were several sticks in the ground sticking straight up, as if they were marking something. i found it remarkably curious. and i wanted to go out there late one night and dig to see what was buried there, but before i had a chance it was gone and there was just a pile of leaves there.

what was buried there? are my downstairs neighbors secret drug-dealers? that would explain the sudden appearance of the mercedes, the boxes for flat-screen tvs and speakers that were piled up by the trash awhile back. but then, supposedly there is a new roommate and it was just that guys stuff, and his car. uh-huh. sure. or maybe something worse was buried there. maybe something still is! dead cat? something worse? i don't know. it will ever remain in the mystery that is the 1729 parking lot. behold it in all its glory:



something clicked. i don't know what exactly it was or where it came from. it's not that i felt ready for it or saw it coming anytime soon. reading--no skimming a newspaper article that somehow ended up in my hands. and it all seemed suddenly clear.

you can choose what defines your life.

sure there are things that happen to us that we cannot control. and we cannot be unaffected by them if we truly mean to live in this crazy world. every sun sets. every leaf falls. and sometimes we linger. but ever will we move on--at least eventually. for everything else does. and we will find our legs underneath us once again.

i don't want _________ to define me. a person. a relationship. a hurt. a job. a trait. it's not always as out of control as it might seem. but then it isn't about grabbing for control--just realizing that you were the one holding on. and you just have to let it go. though that's harder than it sounds--we often are blinded to the ways we are still attached.

what is defining you right now?

suddenly the things that hold back don't seem so strong. their grip is loosening, and i am beginning to smile. shedding can be a painful process. after you are the same, yet different. was the garden harder than the hill? the surrender than the pain? forgiveness comes from the cross.

some good things are back. some things are different now. for good? well, nothing is permanent. except that one constant--that sways back and forth within you but apart never really changes. and you remember. and you find strength in your fingers. and in your heart. like nothing you had known before.

or maybe it just feels that way after so long.



george macdonald

Remember, Lord, thou hast not made me good.
Or if thou didst, it was long ago
I have forgotten--and never understood,
I humbly think. At best it was a crude,
A rough-hewn goodness, that did need this woe,
This sin, these harms of all kinds fierce and rude,
To shape it out, making it live and grow.

But thou are making me, I thank thee, sire.
What thou hast done and doest thou know'st well,
And I will help thee:--gently in thy fire
I will lie burning; on thy potter's-wheel
I will whirl patient, though my brain should reel;
Thy grace shall be enough the grief to quell,
And growing strength perfect through weakness dire.



the politics of this video may be debatable, but the humor is not:



this is my 300th post. nothing i would write can really match the epic of that number. so i'll write some general drivel to leave this behind us all.

it smells like spring in manhattan today. warm and windy. for some reason the change of seasons has been making me look back to that season of the last couple years. spring in manhattan is always interesting. though i know it's only february, so this is only an illusion like my memories. next week it will be 15 degrees again i'm sure.

for some reason the weather today also has me thinking about greece--even though i was there in the fall. perhaps it's also because of this blunder, where i couldn't even recognize a place i'd been (#10). i was also looking at one of my pictures from santorini and thinking about how i sincerely doubt that i will ever make it back there--or at least not for many many years.

i started this blog all 300 posts ago on the eve of my time abroad--and my life hasn't been the same since. not because of this blog silly--i know that's what you were thinking because your life has been the same since this blog, am i right? am i right?

i've been thinking a lot about loyalty lately. it's one of my core values--and i know it came from experiences of separation when i was younger. i think the positive side of that effect is loyalty--but also a lot of what i consider "loyalty" is really just the hatred of loss and separation. the difference is in that it is about me. loyalty is devotion to connection and closeness to a person for the sake of the other. and maybe for the sake of the relationship as its own thing. but it is not a virtue when it is just a form of protection for yourself from feeling loss. i realize that when i am hurt by the separation from the past as i am by the separation from people and relationships.

in fact i've seen loyalty just as much operate as a form of control in my life. though of course then it isn't true loyalty, but rather a fight against separation for my own sake as opposed to a fight for someone else. not all of my loyalty is mixed up in this of course, or at least i'd like to think i'm not that selfish. but they can really get mixed together--loyalty and control.

you can't control the passing of time and the memories backing further away. watching them move back can sometimes give you the illusion that you are moving forward though. it's more than that for me right now. i am learning. i don't want to try and control my life. and somehow i'm going to have to learn to deal with the separation that is inevitable. i don't want to be resigned to what isn't though. i think that's part of my vocation--learning how to overcome much of the unnecessary separation that we create through our own fear, independence, and selfishness. and doing it free from any sort of control.

ok so i guess i got into a little more there than i intended. that verse about forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead comes to mind. and i suppose that's probably pretty good advice.


beard update

you know those old guys that for as long as you've known them they've always had a beard. it is part of their identity. yet, there was a time in their life when they didn't have one. when did they make the transition to being a guy who always has a beard? college? mid-twenties? 40s mid-life crisis? middles school? well sometime it has to be done and then it becomes a part of that man. let me just say right now that isn't what has happened to me.

though it is at least time for a an update on the beard--especially for those of you who don't get the privilege of seeing it regularly. when i first posted about it, i didn't actually think my beard would ever get close to those pictures. but it's quite long now, as you can see. i've trimmed up the mustache several times including today, but very little beyond that. so as best as i can remember it is pretty much untouched going on 5 months now. i've decided to keep it until i go to a french monastery in mid-march. beyond that, i don't think it will last too long. (sorry to disappoint all those guys out there who are living out their dreams of facial hair vicariously through me).

it's been quite an experience having a beard actually--especially one like this. perhaps i should save my reflections till i shave it off in case more come up (like being "randomly" selected for security checks at the airport), but i'm thinking of them now so i'm just going to go with it now.

1. i lot of people are very hot/cold on whether or not they like beards. usually the "cold" people are trying not to be overly harsh, but i can tell. and if you know them well enough they will just let you have it. one person said that "it looks like shit." ok that was my dad. haha. yeah i'm serious. one girl compared it to a woman letting her armpit hair grow out. that was a little harsh, but funny even if it was drastically untrue. a few girls admitted her fondness for a bearded man, though mostly trying not to apply it specifically to my beard. oh you coy ladies i see through you! and then there are the men who think it's awesome. though i find those are mostly guys who couldn't do it themselves.

2. i have experienced slight forms of profiling. beard profiling. never really knew that existed. but it does. probably the most extreme is when i go play pickup basketball at the rec. they see the beard and they think i'm some hippie that shouldn't receive the ball unless absolutely necessary and should be on the other team if at all possible. though once we start playing that tends to change--but not entirely. i'm sure it happens in other places but i haven't noticed it i don't think.

3. slightly related is how i've come to see that a beard is a very defining characteristic. i've often been referred to as "the guy with the beard," as if that was the main thing about me. outwardly much more so of course--as this is said to people who don't know me. i notice it most in those little brief interactions with strangers. they look at my beard before they look at my eyes. now that is really weird. especially when in the past i might see the situation as glance-flirting. you know what i'm talking about. you see an attractive person and you make eye contact and there is a gleam for a moment. depending on the setting you might exchange a few more glances but it really doesn't become anything more than that. but now they are just noticing the giant beard. there's no gleam in their eye, at least most of the time. is that a weird thing to talk about? tell me i'm not the only one who does that. or am i just a creeper? (that's not a setup for comments!)

it's been an interesting journey--this beard thing. yeah that's right, i called growing a beard a journey. it's a funny thing though, to really alter your identity and perception so much. i suppose maybe it's comparable to a girl chopping off all her hair. in some ways i feel like i'm ready for it to go. yet at the same time i am glad to still have it. why? well, i suppose that ties into why i grew it in the first place.

yeah it followed a break-up, and i can't say it wasn't related. a lot of guys grow beards as a form of grieving. well, maybe some. but more than that it just created a good time to be able to do this when i wouldn't care, and it was something i'd never really done before. or maybe that's just what i tell myself. i suppose it did and has reflected an inner state to some extent (though connected to many things). it corresponds to something in me, and it will go when that inner place is ready to change as well. or until i just get tired of the dang thing on my face. it's also becoming pretty trendy to have a beard, which is unfortunate timing. though i don't think i could pull off a hat of mine without it.

and yes i've seriously just way over-analyzed my beard. on my blog. narcissistic? perhaps. or just stupidly reflective? in that case look at who's writing here. i mean, come on!


matthew mayfield

two songs for this guy--just couldn't decide between the two. i think they both are worth a listen.

"seasons in our dreams"




i have something of a pattern to my blog it seems. i try to mix up the posts--so i have a song, then maybe a poem, then something random, then a quote, then maybe something longer and more serious, then i feel like it's too heavy and i put something funny up of a sort. variety is good, right? i actually have a little post-it note of blog entries that i've thought of in the past and just jotted down to write out later. i only so often actually go to this list, but i suppose it's there if i want it as i sometimes do.

but then every so often i just get a feeling that i am supposed to write. i start typing without a very sure idea of where it will go or what i will say. this sort of writing also isn't always public--but sometimes i get the feeling that it should be. or i guess at least that i want it to be for whatever reason. there have been times when i've thought about starting a secret blog. of course if i had one you wouldn't know about it cause i wouldn't tell you. then again i must not because i'm writing on here right now. yes? anyway--this is one of those sorts of entries, the kind where the title comes after it's all written.


so i watched the super bowl tonight--but really didn't everyone? it was a good game. very exciting. the team i was rooting for didn't win, but that's ok because it was exciting--which is all anyone really asks for in the super bowl isn't it? the thing is though, after it's over it was just that. a couple hours of excitement that really doesn't provide any real lasting effect. oh maybe it would for a few days if say the chiefs won it. but even then for the amount of attention and emotional investment people put in their teams what is it all for? i don't mean to limit this to sports either of course.

i've been thinking about this a lot of late--this question: what am i living for? i feel like i've written about this on here before, but whatever. i think it's things like the super bowl, as well as so many movies, books, and really any story that makes us believe that life is about moments--or rather a moment. it's the climax, what everything builds to, how it all comes together and has some sort of beauty and meaning and purpose. but do moments satisfy? is it all worth it for those few moments? yet that is what we've come to believe life is all about. why do we sell the whole rest of our lives for so little?

the general rule in a story is that the denouement, the wrapping up after the climax, should be pretty short and complete. people have followed along till the moment of satisfaction and now they want to know that they can leave it without a feeling of incompletion. but this is not like life at all. "they lived happily ever after" is never the case--not because it can't be possible but because it is just dreadfully incomplete. other things happen and new challenges and questions and doubts and the story is never over. but we don't allow ourselves to be present, truly present, because we are always straining toward the next big moment or relishing in the last.

well that's just one thing that i know i don't want to be living for: moments. i feel like i could write 3 or 4 more full entries on other things that i think we live for in a lot of ways, and maybe i will in time. a couple of them are on my list. but for tonight i am just not really quite up to it.

so i guess this is the end of my random writing. i don't really know what it was i wanted to convey exactly. i suppose just to write something. i can't really seem to understand all the emotions that have been hitting me lately, or for that matter what my life really is right now. lots more thoughts come to mind from that but i think i better stop now and leave you just with a hearty "happy groundhog's day!"