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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

You Smell that? Smells like....Freedom.

And thus did Spring Break arrive, and the people of the land turned out in joyous multitudes to welcome their champion and savior who brings them respite, though brief, from their toils and sufferings...and all was good and right in the world for a time, save for the evil of a sole Physics lab and the waning shadow of a health correspondence course that stood forth to remind the world that the darkness was not yet gone forever....

So yes folks, my spring break is upon's a beautiful thing. Indeed it is. So here's the outlook for me so far: I need to finish my health course (so long as I manage to scrounge up some discipline that hopefully won't be too hard), sleep, finish my other heathen schoolwork, sleep, finish up me video, eat, get me hair cut, sleep, hang out with the peoples with what time I have available, and, um...sleep? Yeah, sleep would be good. Besides, if I didn't get good enough sleep, I have a feeling that certain persons might start coming over here at around 12 and giving me a very disapproving stare until I make my way down into the depths of my lair (for those of you who don't know, yes I do have a lair) for the night. Of course that might not be so bad really....

I've noticed that whatever is put at the end of a post, even if it is only a small fraction of the total post, is usually what gets commented on the most. Hmmmm...makes sense. I shall have to subtly utilize this tendency to my advantage. Now, you might be thinking that how will that work now that I've told you my plan (seeing how devious and diabolical you all are), but that's the simple beauty of it: what if I wanted you to know? What if this is all part of an elaborate scheme to steal the souls of every last barber in the nation to keep in vaseline lined jars that I'll keep in my basement as decorations and nightlights and such? What then, huh? Alright, I'll shut up and stick a poem up now. Sheesh.


The morning finally comes
and the light pours in as I step out from sleep,
Awakened by the cold water pouring down,
Seeping in, cooling the inside of my skin,
The momentary comfort is lost in the knowledge
of the grudging day to come.

Rudely stuffed full and set out on display,
Blood begins pounding hotter
As i sit amongst my fellow sufferers of
Unnamable indignity,
I wait as my blood grows thicker
For the
Sweaty hands to start
Reaching out to drain that
Precious blood, my life.

Soon, I am all but spent,
Emptied and left alone,
with only four other
cold metal cylinders to share
in my weekly humiliation.
Then my keeper comes,
Takes me back,
Cleans the filth from me,
The only kindness I see each week
In the gentle hands and cleansing water.

My keeper is te only one who knows me
For more than simply what I make.
Sometimes I frustrate him,
When I seem a task equal to
King Augeas' Stables,
But he still cares for me.
He must after all,
To come back to clean me,
To scald jhis hands again,
Week after week after week,
And to set me to rest for my long sleep,
Before next Sunday, when I must take part once more
in the labors of an old, venerable coffee pot.

Here's a shout out to all you other God Squaders out there, or in other words, to George, although he doesn't ever have to clean the coffee pots.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Can Water Reflect a Soul?

Am I sitting at your shore
feeling the cool breeze drift off of you
and thinking that's it?
Am I afraid to
break the surface,
to immerse myself
lose myself
in you?
Am I really just a fish
limp on your shore
suffocating from lack of you
drowning in air, dying,
my soul dry
and cracked
like the desert wastes,
empty, drying and
dying and
crying out finally
in desperation,
the final flip of silver
that pushes me over
the edge
into you?

Have I forgotten how to be vulnerable Father?
Have I opened my heart to another
to others
but not to you?
Is that the problem?
I've missed you for so long Father,
I've known you but I haven't
met you
I've heard you but I haven't
seen you,
and been refreshed

God what have I become?
Am I an oak that stands
tall, but is dying insde
its roots cut off and choking,
entombed and enclosed in the stone
I put there?
I think I've forgotten how to be vulnerable.
Forgive me Father, I think I'm dying.

And yet the breeze does blow
it does cool as it flows,
across my arms,
my upturned face, the eyes
that stare and stare
across your surface of still rippled glass,
alive and full of life
my life.
I can see the sky and the trees
reflected in your profound depth
and I know that if I just move
a little closer
I will see
my empty heart, but then you'll
fill me,
make me
a part of you
and then I won't be a reflection anymore,
as you hold
my broken heart
of fragile glass
finally from its iron walls


I wrote that during my quiet time this morning as I sat beside the lake. Sound familiar? If you're starting to worry, no need to. I had a long talk with Ben Goodman right after that and he prayed for me for a bunch of things which helped a great deal. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people of such great wisdom, encouragement, compassion, and power. I know that my struggles aren't over yet, but with the leaders in my life at my back, my friends holding me up, and God calling me forward I don't plan on worrying too much about that. I would appreciate your prayers though, since there is a measure of hurt to it, and because I may have to make some hard choices and do some difficult things, but don't worry about me. Just trust with me.

wow.....I just realized that I only have about nine weeks of high school left. Ever. And then who knows where I'll be....I think it only really started to actually dawn on me this weekend, sometime saturday night. Less than a makes you think, y'know? It makes you look back, it makes you forward, and it makes you look around. I have so many questions, so many fears, and so many hopes, but most of all, I have so many memories and so much love, both from and for all of you (you know who you are). I do truly have such great love for all of you, my friends, my family. I pray that though I will miss you with an aching heart I will never lose you. I love all of you too much for that.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Spring Retreatishness

Mmmm...lunch: that brief period of seeming freedom in the midst of a day ruled by the all powerful bell. Sounds like a good time for a post to me.

So, today we leave for the Spring Retreat and all its retreaty goodness. I just hope the haze of anti-itch powder in the senior high guys cabin isn't as bad this year...the retreat this year is going to be particularly interesting for me, as it will be the first youth retreat for me that my dad has gone on. For those of you who didn't make the connection, it is in fact my very own most excellent father who shall be leading one of the workshops (I highly recommend the workshop by the way. If you didn't get it as one of your two and wish you could've gone, I can hook you up with the notes from it). So yeah, even though he's leaving early (which means I'm gonna need to hitch a ride would be nice if I could actually arrange to get one too. Just ask Ray about my alternative ideas for finding a ride home), but just having him there should be interesting, and I don't mean that in a bad way. I love my dad. He's awesome. Sure, we've had problems, as all sons and fathers do, but I'm still kind of excited to have him coming. It'll be cool. Besides, this time if Mark/Tony beats me up in wrestling, dad'll eat him ;P

Well, Scott's over now, so I'd better just stick what I got up now (not like I really had anything else to say that was worth saying anyway. I mean, c'mon). Well, I guess I'll see y'all later.

Rock out everybody.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Igor, eat your heart out.

It is currently 9:15 in the morning and I'm posting from my wee alcove in the video studio. Well, technically it's only a room that's attached to the studio, but I like to give it an inflated sense of importance. I mean, after all, this room isn't even as big as the coat closet at church and it fits me, a computer station, and all the other old junk that isn't stuffed in the prop room from empty boxes to mini Mackie sound boards. Add to that the fact that I am surrounded by blank, white, cinder block walls all around, with the shade pulled down on the only window (which looks out into the studio anyways, which has the lights off at the moment) and even with the door wide open it feels like a catacomb in here. I've started talking to the computer and empty hard drive boxes (which I have all named) and I think I'm beginning to develop a hunchback. Ahhhh, how I love it so.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Sonnet for George

Well, George asked for a sonnet, and I just happen to have one that I squirreled away. This guy was another poem I wrote for my English class, specifically for a "found poem" assignment we did for Hamlet. This one's for you bro:

The Readiness is All

With the vengeance set,
Blood’s release is called,
For a father’s honor,
The readiness is all.

A love forgotten,
A vengeance forestalled,
A madness awoken,
The readiness is all.

Death encroaches life,
Great men poised to fall,
The rapier and the knife,
The readiness is all.

Whether he now goes to Hell’s fires or Heaven’s halls,
This one thing he knows: The readiness is all.

Expect more poemishness/postingness later today.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

An Oldie

Well, as promised, here's the next poem for y'all. This one's over a year old (the one exception to my many year dry spell). So, yeah, take a look, see if'n ya like it, and then I'll let you know what I think of it afterwards:

In the deepest darkness of the night
I turn up my eyes and behold the stars.
Never quenched by blackness, ever light
They breathe hope upon new pains and old scars.

Each silent witness to the ages
So marvellous, shards of ice in the sky.
Beyond Earth's riches, Heaven' wages
They pale to the love in my brother's eye.

More than even all these stars combined
Are God's children images of His heart.
At the Father's table we have dined
And we each reflect His glory in part.

Yeah, like I said, an old one. I like this guy, but looking back at him he seems too structured and forced even. I wish I had kind of just been able to let it flow more. I actually wrote the thing one night because I started thinking back to War Cry '03 and the stuff that happened there. I have one very vivid memory of standing on the steps leading up to the stage and looking back out across the auditorium and seeing over 400 youth lost in passionate worship. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Making good on a Promise

Well, I heard the cry for poems and I answered it with a promise that they were to come. Now I come to you to fulfill that promise. Since I don't want to completely overwhlem you all by putting all four or so of them up at once, starting tonight I'll post two per day: one in the morning and one in the evening (that'll also give me enough time to actually finish writing the last one....hehe). I hope you enjoy them, but bear in mind that before just recently (and not counting one poem, which I wrote last year) I haven't written much of anything in the way of poetry for something like five or six years, so don't expect anything spectacular. That said, here's the first one:

A Six-Year Old’s Tragedy

Sometimes when the snow
Dusts the ground
Nestles down on the street,
I get introspective,
And I forget
Where I am
And time.
I stare at my
Blue snow pants which
Whisper secrets to me
Secrets of my youth,
Of my life yet to come.
But for now I look up and see
The snow
Surreally drifting down
Like a movie
And I’m alone
And lost
With only the bus driver to hear
My muffled tears
As I sit in his bus so
Far beyond all I know
And the school I didn’t get off at.

I wrote that for an English assignment over the weekend. The assignment was to write about a childhood memory so I decided to write it about one of my warm and fuzzy memories of the time I spaced out on the bus and got taken all the way to the bus station before realizing that last stop had in fact been school. It was rather traumatic for me, although I did not, as my father still insists on telling everyone, fall asleep on the bus, I just wasn't paying attention. Thought I'd just clear that up for y'all. Anyhow, hope that works for ya and expect another one tomorrow morning. Now, if you'll excuse me, my second cousin Allison and her mom are over and I would like to go and talk with her now, if you don't mind (incidentally, she happens to be one of the few people I know to have hair redder than mine. Y'know, in case you were wondering.)

Rock out everybody.

Monday, March 07, 2005

May God Have Mercy on Our Souls...

What have I done? I've unleashed a plague upon our lands:
Beware the danger of an unguarded tongue.

Wow, it's a-pretty pretty late, now isn't it? I seem to be setting a precedent. I think that I've been up about this late Sunday through Thursday for the past, what, three weeks now. They're not entirely sure how I'm still alive, but they're still running some more tests, so I'll keep you posted (luckily they eliminated the zombie possibility. I was more interested in dill pickles, chocolate, and sundry salty foods than in brains. Now there's a question for ya: do zombies like chocolate? Or is that the definition of undead, not liking chocolate?). I've decided that I need to start doing something to get in shape again. I've woefully fallen into disrepair since the glory days of freshman PE when I was running under 6 minute miles every other week (until I sprained my ankle playing tennis, right before the track and field unit. the memory is shameful). This, however, requires time, so I will have to find some way to procure some time for myself to do such things. For those of you who offered to help me exercise by chasing me around with the threat of tickling the very air out of my lungs if you caught me...I'll call you if I can't think of anything else.

Wrote a poem for English. It's not anywhere near what I stuck up last time, but it's kind of interesting, although if you're looking for deep, this is probably not the poem for you. Yeah, so I don't think I'll stick it up tonight (it'd get lonely), but if y'all want it I'll stick it up with my next post, along with whatever else in that vein I can produce in the meantime.

Well, I think I'll save my account of the mini-talk I shared on Sunday for a time when I'm nore than just partially conscious. Besides, it has be requested by certain unnamed parties that I keep my posts shorter to facilitate surreptitious reading of them at work. We here at Ben's blog have always prided ourselves on our relationships with our patrons and the "personal touch" that we bring to our services, so while we do not officially condone the practice of office-blogging, this one's for you Sessie.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

When God told the Jews not to Worship the Golden Calf, this was why.

Well, I don't have a while lot of time tonight (gotta get enough sleep for my big talk tomorrow. Yay!), so I'll leave you with this news headline I came across (it was listed under "Alternative Medicine" in the health section):

Cow urine touted as cure-all in India

....Yeah, that about sums it up. Apparently it's pretty hot stuff. Shopkeepers having trouble keeping all their various ungulate excretion-based products in stock and all that. Wow....Now, while I can make allowances some of the products they have there, like the cow urine aftershave (hey, at least it's sterile right? And it's not as bad as bathing in horse urine like the mongols. Silly mongols), and although I may never personally try the constipation medicine, whatever floats your boat (or unstops your cork as the case may be) isn't that much of a problem with me. No, what really gets me though is none of those things, it's the cow dung toothpaste. Now you all realize that's just wrong, right? Heck, if you like brown teeth there are plenty of better ways to get it. Just because it has more stomachs than you doesn't make it any holier, nor does it mean that putting the product of all those stomachs on your teeth isn't just plain nasty. Oi. Let this be a lesson to you then: this is what can happen to you if you you worship cows.

By the way, if you want to read that article (it's short) or see a picture of the cow urine aftershave or you just think I'm either lying or need much more sleep, here's the link:

Excuse my Rantings

Alrighty y'all, sorry about my apparent recent hiatus, but I should be back now and churning out lovely (or not so lovely, depending on your point of view) posts once more. Y'see, I finished me ol' research paper and thus have attained the impression of scholastic freedom for the time being. Speaking of scholastic freedom , tomorrow morning is a beautiful thing. Apparently Chapel Hill schools have scheduled several two-hour delay days for this year as they did last year. I believe the purpose of such days is so that they can have planning meetings for next year's cirriculum or schedule or something like that. Anyways, tomorrow is one such day, but the wonderfullness of tomorrow does not stop there, oh no. You see, I was greeted this morning in my first period class by my videography instructor's announcement that he would not be there tomorrow and neither would the class from Chapel Hill High that is there first period. Seeing as nobody would be there and the door would be locked, he didn't see much point in my coming to class tomorrow. Doesn't that just bring tears to your eyes? Mmmm, three hour delay....Ii always liked the number three.....except of course when it's in reference to the number of embarrassing medical conditions that you have, although it's still better than four in that case. Um...yeah.
So, I was thinking today in my English class (*gasp*) and my thoughts turned to the sad state of the media these days and in particular to a certain cancerous lesion that has spread its infectious stench and oozing rot throughout the modern media. I speak of the most horrible atrocity to ever be committed to the honorable (well, sort of) video industry, the media whore of our day; I speak of reality TV. Yes my friends and compatriots, it is this monstrosity that we have produced which makes me fear so much for our nation and the state of the generation that produced such a perversion of true video with its simpering cries to sate its desire for something to shock it and give it the sense of reality in a sensational package so that they can be entertained and still be able to laugh at the seemingly real failings of others (you know it's bad when you see an add for a new reality tv show and you get really confused at the end when it turns out to be a Geico commercial). The worst part of it all is that of everything on TV these days, reality TV is the most fake. The premises behind the shows themselves are so far from reality that even without scripting, selective editing, multiple takes, pre-determined outcomes, carefully chosen applicants, and plenty of acting that goes on with reality TV, you already have something that is just as far removed from reality as Days of Our Lives. We already had something like that even before reality TV came out. It was called WWF Smackdown. Seriously, I've gotten deeper fulfillment from watching monster truck rallies or PokeMon. Reality TV has taken film and removed the art that was left in it, replacing it entirely with shock value, sex, and commercialism. As such, I think it is high time that we reform reality TV, for I feel that it could be quite worthwhile if used properly. With this ideal in mind, I have developed the new reality TB show to revive the born-dead genre: American Idol:Eugenics. The rules are the same and the judges are the same, the only change is that is you don't qualify, you're sterilized ("I'm sorry but that was simply horrible. There's no way we can accept that. Make sure the door doesn't hit you on your way to see the nurse"). Or how about Survivor: Plague. Put all the contestants on a desert island that has been infested with rats that carrying the bubonic plague. Last person left alive wins, and they get the choice of either one million dollars, or immediate medical attention. Or for those of you who prefer those "who's he gonna marry and then divorce a few months later?" style shows, we have "The Mormon" in which 6 lovely ladies vie for the affections of a wealthy mormon who ends up marrying all of them. Oi...just take me now Lord.
Sorry 'bout that. Mmmmm, I feel so cleansed now. Ahhhhhhhhh....
So I started letting my mind wander a little while ago (not always a safe thing to do, at least not for me. Heck, I barely got it to come back last time) and I started to think about how life is considered to be so unpredicable and so uncertain. After a moment it began to strike just how much of life is completely and utterly certain. The thing that amazed me about it was that the things that are so certain are not simple little things that mean nothing, like the fact that cockroaches will still be around when the universe collapses in upon itselfor that a cat placed in a vacuum will expand to fill the space, but it was the most important, intergral, and fundemental things that go even beyond the certainties of mortality and suffering, for even those are mutable. We can be certain that we will always need God, and that God will always satisfy very desire of our heart, from the most superficial to the deepest cry and purpose of our souls. We can be certain that no matter how horrible the circumstances of our lives become God will never abandon us and we will always have access to his overwhelming, breathtaking love, joy, and peace. We can be certain that worship will fulfill us and that we will be the happiest doing what we were designed to do. We can be certain that we will always be loved by God, pursued by God, and drawn into away to be romanced by God again and again. We can be certain that we will stumble and fall, and we can be certain that Papa will rush in to pick us up, heal our wounds, and hold us in His arms. We can be certain of the salvation that was bought for us in perfect blood and we can be certain that at the end of our time on this earth there lies a reward ao great and so precious beyond all shadow of comprehension that to try and touch it with mere words would be to cheapen the pure, sweet beauty of it that is so beyond any words but the poetry of a spirit in perfect worship. We can, in short, be certain of our God, and for those of you who do not see God as so certain, know that He sees you and knows you and He is calling your heart to the promises you were made to partake of. The is great comfort in the certainty the Father gives our lives.

Catch ya later peoples. Hopefully I'll have something a wee bit more enjoyable for you on the morrow. 'Night everybody!