Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fishing boats sail past heaven's door
Past heaven's shore
Past the lyrics in my watery brain
Heard in the mines
By the sea
Can't you see me waving
Furry little being
Wafting through air 
Thin as skin on my hair
Through there
Cavern in the sea
Where can we be
Where the soldiers on white
Whales with their swords and shields
Of Ivory
Wash away on the rocks
By the sea
Relinquish me
And I smile 
And I feel the breeze
Smile and I feel free
Cornucopia of me
I think I am him
And he is me

Monday, November 12, 2012

The People of Honduras

I found out this morning that I will be returning to Honduras in the Spring of 2013 with the MTMO mission trip.

It is a remarkable country.

We often create this notion that people in third world countries are all kind and loving, sweet people. That they were born into an unfair life of poverty and did nothing to deserve it. They speak another language, and since we cannot directly communicate with them, we think for some reason that they are incapable of doing wrong. They're poor and pathetic and we want to save them.

But that perspective is so inaccurate.

I've been to Honduras three times, and as I found out today, will be returning this coming year. I hadn't planned on going because I was supposed to be off at school. But my life took a different path, and now the team leaders have worked out a way for me to go. I was overjoyed when I found out.

I remember having this idealistic view of the people the first time I went. But it was only in the years to come that I realized their humanity was no different than mine. They not only have the capacity to lie, steal, take advantage, and generally wrong others, but they do. They also have the capacity to love, thank, help, honor, and serve others, and they do. They are not different from me because they speak another language, wear tattered clothes, and live on dirt floors. And they don't feel different. They are humans, as I am human. The only thing separating us is the economical differences in our lifestyle. But they don't know any other life than what they live, and so they are often content.

In saying all of this, my purpose is not to point out how wretched they are (though all of us can be wretched). In fact, it was only after I learned to see these people as I see myself that I loved them more and cared more to help them. I don't think anyone on Earth has God figured out, and I don't trust anyone to tell me what to believe; but I know that none of us deserve what good we have in our lives, yet we are given good things and allowed to experience moments of injustice for the sake of mercy and grace. The people in Honduras do not innately deserve what we give them -- clothes, medical care, water treatment, etc. -- but neither do I deserve the clothes in my closet, the health care I'm provided with, or the food sitting in my fridge. And being able to recognize the undeserving nature of human beings gives me more joy in being able to help those people. Like I said, I've not got all my beliefs figured out, but traveling to Honduras has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I can't wait to return this January...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Put your heart back in your pocket, 
Pick your love up off the floor.
...He says he don't love you anymore,
So pick up off the floor."

- Mika

Hell yeah.

Also, this man is my hero. Just saying.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, everyone...

Limitless Passion

The car rattled as we drove down the highway. Black night sky, stars dimmed by the city street lights and store signs that blurred as we sped past them. We'd been talking about dreams and goals and the difference between the two, the dinner we'd just eaten and what games we were going to play that night.

I looked out the window. I could just make out Orion.

Amidst realism and dreams, proper planning and spontaneity, I know what my heart wants. I'm tired of everyday life, the routines and the ordinary expectations. There are so many things that I'm not good at, but there are so many things that I excel in, too. What limits do we set for ourselves when we feel an inborn passion trying to ignite motivation in us? Should we set limits? Should we order ourselves in a manner that society finds reasonable so that when "our dreams don't pan out" we have something to fall back on?
Yes, future planning has its place. But what if we tested the potential of Passion as a driving force?

I cannot look at the stars and think I'm meant for a desk job or housewife duties, called to ignore my God-given desires. To each his own, but Earth is not where I set my sights. As a child I swore for nine years I would be an astronaut. The teenage years set in and I gave in to the idea of "realistic goals". It was only after my life fell apart this past summer and nearly came to a physical end that I realized I don't have to conform to what is expected of me -- that is to say, going to college, getting a nice job at a store, bank, newspaper, etc. and raising a family. Since when does human life fit a template? Has our history not been carried on the backs of those who defied conformity and followed their dreams? Rulers that took over lands did so because they had a vision; scientists made discoveries because they did not accept truth to be what tradition and myth defined it to be; eras and ages have come and gone and been reborn because of people who devoted themselves to their dreams and beliefs.

How can we define what is or is not realistic when there is an entire universe we know almost nothing about? How can we define the limitations of life when we have not lived long enough to test them?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Looking Back

I can't really describe what it's like to know that you overcame so many odds against your favor, and that you accomplished your dreams when life only gave you shit.

All I wanted was to be a writer and an astronomer.

I am a writer and an astronomer.

Looking Back

I had lots of plans. I was going to be a writer and an astronomer. That was all I loved, you know. Writing and astronomy. I wanted to go to a great school where I could study and learn and defy all of the shit life had thrown my way. I'd always known I was going to do something great, because I knew I could. I was too full of passion not to.

But I didn't.

I foresaw that my life would take one of two paths -- a life full of accomplishment for the world, or a useless life where my dreams became old memories as I slugged through one day after the next.

I never overcame my obstacles. I never did anything worthwhile. I had a few good times, and a few good laughs. A few good drinks and some traveling here and there. But nothing like I wanted. I've grown old and tired. Scattered family, kids grown and living their own adult lives now. I never did fall in love again. Sometimes there are no second chances when you've been seared too deep.

I still look at the stars, but now they seem like bitterness and lost hope. They used to be the only light I saw, and I clung to them. Now they're just annoying.

I used to be full of energy, too, but it's hard getting around now. I'm not motivated to do much. I still rearrange my furniture often like I used to, and for the same reason: it gives me a touch of control and spices up my life for a grand two days. Then I get bored, but leave it for a few months, then rearrange again. What else is there to do...

I had so many plans. So many heroes. So many dreams. It was naive and foolish to think I could realize any of them. But then that's what they called me -- naive and foolish.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

The country sits still now.
Politicians watch the news screens and scan political websites.
The polls are closed and the votes are being counted.
Mothers round up their children for bed --
Schools pick back up in session tomorrow.
Janitors will fold up card tables and put them away.
Sweep gym floors.
Television broadcasts real-time updates.
The country waits...