It rises up inside me like boiling water. This is wrong. This is not right. I must do something. Anger courses through me and I can’t believe someone would have the gall to say such a thing. How can you think that? How can you feel that way? How dumb are you? The questions plow through my mind and I can only burn with rage.
Why doesn’t everybody see things the way I do? Doesn’t everybody know that I’m always right? It’s too bad I’m not the only one who thinks this way. After all, I’m just as stupid as I think everyone else is.
Ignore those feelings of right and wrong. Bury it all beneath a blanket of busyness. I know something’s not right here, but I just don’t care. Don’t give me consequences, I know it’s wrong and I just want to move on. But it’s not that simple. Mourn and wail. Pain is involved. You hurt the ones you love, and those are consequences you can’t ignore. It seems so paradoxical, and yet that’s the human condition. What I want to do I do not do, and what I do I do not want to do. And mask it all under a sunny cloud of today. Exchange smiles, laugh out loud, live. But all the while something’s eating at your heart. You sit down with a book in the quiet, and it drives you crazy. The door is shut and someone’s knocking. It’s the judge, and you refuse to let him in. If you face the pain the judge will quickly dismiss it all, forgiving and forgetting in one simple stroke. The consequences will not be wiped away. But you can begin again, and try not to screw things up so bad this time. What’s it going to take to make me understand?
Don’t worry, I’m just as stupid as I think you are.
Sorry about that multiple day break. I was too stuffed with Turkey to drag my bloated body to the computer and actually compose something worthy of your time. But don’t worry, I’m back. And I’ll stop skipping days.
I rolled over this morning as my roommate walked in the door. He realized I was awake and asked if I’d been outside yet. I was half awake, and mumbled something resembling ‘no.’ He kept talking: It snowed last night. It’s still coming down. There’s an inch and a half on the ground. Before he finished the last sentence I was out of bed and half way across the room. The curtains flew open and there, in all its white glory, was the first snow of the year.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
(it’s kind of a poem, it’s kind of a song–it’s kind of messed up)
I’m so confused. Is this what it’s all about, lost in my afternoon apathy? Would somebody please tell me where I’m going, what I’m doing and what the point is? What’s it all about, and why am I here asking questions in a little notebook–does this help me pull it all together or just provide concrete evidence for my insanity? What is it all about? Where does my hope reside? Is my Sunday School answer just another lie? Does my hope lie in bed with a pretty girl and a tender kiss or does my hope lie in what I can accomplish–a mighty statue to my pride–or does my hope lie in a web page–pulled together with such beauty, won’t you please take a look? Or will my hope reside in future days of better ways? Where do I find the strength to push on through the apathetic afternoon? What’s it all about and why am I here? Should I just take a nap and hope it all disappears, maybe drown myself in this or that calamity, create some passion within this stale heart and form a false hope to tell me what it’s all about, what it’s all about. Insecurity, tragedy, conformity. What is it all about and why am I here? Is it just a matter of easier to serve than love? How can you love what you cannot see? Intuitively I understand, but it’s not a matter of the brain, it’s a situation within my heart. What is it all about and why am I here? Will the answers suddenly materialize, or do I need to fall down on my knees? What do you want from me? You want it all so simple, but you can’t have me. I have you. You’re my Sunday cause, the thing that gives me passion. I tell you what to do and you change the world to my liking–I am serving the shoe box God. But how can you love a God you’ve consigned to a box? What’s it all about and why am I here? Questions that haunt my mind like the chorus of a hit radio song, over-played and under-analyzed. What’s it all about and just what is he rambling about? Too much negativity for you–where are your clean cut answers, cookie-cutter situations and sitcom resolutions? This is not an echo for your mother, she’ll frown and wonder who wronged me. He was such a nice boy. But it’s more than that, it’s more than you can know. It’s the world upside down through someone else’s eyes. What’s it all about and why am I here? Can I just curl up in your arms and make the questions go away, ignore the responsibility and the amazing calamity? Maybe this flood of introverted self-analysis will be gone and I can watch TV, hold your hand and be a happy American. What’s it all about and why am I here? I don’t accept–I won’t accept your answers; you never read the question. You put it in a box and have long since forgotten who you are and what you wanted to do. What’s it all about and why are you here? Minivans and McDonalds are a poor justification for your credit card existence. Is there more to this world than the material, and why can you not think and come to understand something more complicated than a thirty second commercial? Am I the only enlightened one? Look out, here comes my pride. It’ll run you down like a garbage truck, and we’ll all just wish I died. What’s it all about and why am I here? What’s the rationalization for this perplexing realization? Would someone please open the floodgate and answer me with grace, show me mercy, and love–a bloody human form. I know that’s what it’s all about, but won’t you please explain that to my afternoon apathy?
The rain comes. Washing, cleansing, purifying. The dirt, mud, and grime trickles away. Refreshing rain that soaks to your skin, drips from your hair, and beads on the glass. It’s a fresh start. The grass will grow green again and the people will look with fresh eyes. But not you. You repel the rain like a sealed cement sidewalk. It puddles up, washing away the muck on the surface. But you’ve sealed your heart and won’t let the waters rinse you clean.
Good morning, good night. Tired and restless I struggle on. Never quite satisfied, never quite content. An evening of accomplishment and you want to have fun, an evening of fun and you want to accomplish. I come home and it’s dark, everyone’s in bed. But I’m still up in the darkness, wondering why. Questions taunt my mind, questions of things I always forget, never wanting to entertain the answers that just add to the suck of time from my already busy life. Questions of a home changed and none too eager to go back, but at the same time a longing for it; questions of friends who don’t write back–first it was a week or two, now a month or two. They’ve all but forgotten me and I’ve all but forgotten them. But how can you forget such an important part of your life? They say you can never go home again. And I believe it. Conversations I yearn to have, but they just don’t materialize. Carefully worded questions I want to ask of situations I can never comprehend. It’s all mystery to me. Won’t somebody tell me? Why does it have to be so difficult. Why do I have to be the one? I used to think getting somewhere was more important than the journey. But I’m beginning to favor the journey, more likely than not because of a distaste with the destination. Maybe I should stop asking and go to bed like everyone else. Just like everyone else.
Tragedy strikes in an instant, somewhere far away. Six people are dead–Nine–Twelve. A log pile for a bonfire crashes at Texas A&M University. You have to wonder about the stupidity of it all. They were just having fun, crawling around on a forty foot high mound of timber. And now they’re dead. Life so quickly comes to an end. You have to wonder if they were ready for it. Is anybody ready for it? The families and friends ask their questions, and all you can do is pray for your fellow man.
I wake up in the morning and stumble into the bathroom. I’m still rubbing the crud from my eyes. My jolly roommate watches me walk in and makes some happy comment. Running my hand through my tangled mop of hair, I grab my towel and head for the shower, not even giving his comment the respect of a reply.
Why do I have to be such a jerk some days? Granted I had an excuse. It was early and I was tired. Grumpyness is a forgivable sin before 9:00 am. But I have to admit that it doesn’t end there. I don’t turn into a happy and well adjusted individual come 9:00 am. I’m still easily on edge. I worked with you on that one project, and you butchered my idea. You’re a manager, and you don’t know what you’re doing. All day long snide little comments echo in my head, bitter little jabs at this person or that person. Luckily they’re just in my head. But who am I to say such things? It’s just a silly project–get over it. You’re not the manager–don’t worry about it.
Sometimes I think I walk around with my head so largely inflated I’m lucky I can even get through the door. I’ve somehow latched on to the idea that I’m better, that my ideas rule, that I know how to do everything. Since when did I get so important? Loving and serving others involves forgetting about yourself. Some days I think I just need to wash some feet.