picture 8 – the benefits of a lake

This is a picture of the cookout I hosted yesterday for my apartment building and some other folks intersted in coming. We spent three hours up on the beach and played football and cooked hot dogs and all sorts of just spending time together. I found that last night was one of the best reminders of why I love what I do (and that includes why I love each student I've met this year – yes, that includes you, reader of my blog). In each of these people here – all of them I know – I see potential. I see gifts. I see awesome people who are going to change the world. I see God in them. And each time I get to just relax and hang out, I feel God's presence there. It's how I can spend week after week cranking this out and that out. It's how I can deal with beaurocracy. It's how I know that while I'm exhausted now, in a couple months I'm going to be wishing them back to Gannon. It's why I'm motivitated to stay in the CCO: tranforming college students to transform the world is about the best thing I could imagine doing right now.

Good night all.

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major realization pt deux

I've kept holding off and holding off on this second realization of Easter, mostly because I really had no clue what to say. I've had so many thoughts and thoughts on top of those thoughts that it just felt like a lot of things at once. So I've spent some time today away from people and secluded myself to my journal (the real one I have that feels and smells a lot better and sexier than this one). I don't have a whole lot I want to say about it, except I'm going to put an excerpt here. Maybe some of you feel this way, and if you do… I understand.

…I feel unsettled. To boil down how I am in one word feels like I'm missing something, but it could be absolutely perfect. It's not as if I'm not happy – I can look around me and see all the wonderful things that are happening… I'm finding myself recommitting to my faith and my identity by "throwing thoughts away, destroying bets made" to "Joining thoughts, preparing every part" for You. That's where I am…

I thought of adding more, but the rest seems too personal to just broadcast to a random populous. It's as though it wouldn't do it justice, and really just whore it out because I had an epiphany.

I still feel unsettled, but I feel unsettled with purpose. I feel like I'm made to be at this space at this time – if for anything to take the days as they come and discover them.

I can never deny the fact that if I stare at my life long enough it will get more and more complicated. I can look at my hand right now as it types as see an extension of my body to four fingers and a thumb to multiple hairs and skin cells to mitochondria to DNA to adenine and so on a so forth with complexity beyond my ability to understand. I can't deny the fact, either, that the more complicated it gets, the more beautiful it becomes because it all works together in harmony: adenine connects with thymine, it works in such a way that constructs me. But if I just stared at the cells in my hand, really only tried to focus on one, I'd miss out on writing to you right now, because my hands wouldn't by typing at all, but paralyzed as my 10th grade biology education tries to make sense of all that's going on.

I feel like I might have just contradicted myself, but that's where I think it all works out. If I look at my hand for what it is, and understand what it's for, knowing full well about the DNA and loving it for what it is, and occasionally stopping to appreciate it, it makes typing seem so much more beautiful.

But I can't stop typing.

my love affair with poetry

I've always enjoyed writing poetry. It's something I can't help but want to do. I've found that it's a muse hard fought, but so fleeting to catch that when I do finally get around to feeling like I want to write something, I better do it because before long the idea will have passed and I will have lost my muse.
Truth be told however, I piss myself off when I'm writing because I always think about the poetry I read that isn't good. For every George Herbert and TS Eliot there's a prepubescent teenager regaling his or her last frenzied love with multiple monosyllabic words and phrases that do not make much sense except they rhyme well. And, unless I somehow get "discovered", I'm always going to associate more with the latter than the former. And maybe we all should. Maybe that's when poetry is its most real and most beautiful.

It still pisses me off.

To that end, this is one I've been working on (and will be revised I'm sure):

We are all amateurs when it comes to poetry.

Each line, clumisly written, thought, unwritten –

(because lines never endure the

half-smile delivered

while sitting two tables away from each other)

Develop down the page with the fire of kindlingwood.

(and I know more from you at that moment

than I swear I would have in years beside)

We burn brightly with hot heat

Having no consideration to the fuel

We spend until it's far too late.

(I thought to get up then to see you, but you

were done, looking intently to the door)