Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Song for Someone by U2

[ok so this post is a bit "out of the blue" for me... maybe you'll like it?]

This song hits me ... possibly the loudest. From the new disc [Songs of Innocence]. 
Though there are many moments from the new disc that strike me.
"...face down in a pillow of shame, there's some girls with a needle tryin' to spell my name, my body's not a canvas, my body's now a toilet wall..." from Raised by Wolves."...I've seen for myself, there's no end to grief, that's how I know, Oh I know, & why I need to know that there is no, yeah there is no end to love..." From California [there is no end to love]
The Troubles [the whole chilling song]
They have a contest for people to sing Song for Someone.
I hate me in front of a camera. So this'll be as close as I get.
I've posted before about being depressed. About wanting to die, for months on end. I read a blog post, from TWLOHA where they interviewed Jared Padalecki. In the interview he mentions having lost several friends to suicide. I want to say something to that. Yet I'm nervous to do so. Nervous it'll be taken the wrong way.
I wanted to apologize for his friends. It can be tough to see your value. It's so much easier to see things from a "the world would be better off without me in it." standpoint. It can be a long fight to get to feeling like you're worth taking up space here.
I say all this because it's where my head is at when I hear Song for Someone. As I've listened to & sat with the lyrics... personally, it's kind of from a place where the singer is desperate. Wanting to give up, & turning to God... maybe at his wits end. Calling Him "someone". Someone who isn't afraid of all my brokenness. My brokenness isn't "new news" to him.
I've had a slowly forming "video" for this song. The beginning came today. A man, sitting on the floor... knife to his wrist. Just before he cuts into himself... He lays it down on the floor & begins singing. Kind of a last ditch effort to be saved from himself. Slowly stands up as he sings. Looking at scars on his arms. Later. He falls to his knees at the bridge of the song. And as the last lines are sung, the only light is a single flame from a lighter... dancing on his reflective sunglasses. 
I always add a word to the end of the song. In the last chorus:
"...if there is a light
you can't always see
& there is a world
we can't always be
if there is a kiss
from your mouth
& there is a light
[please] don't let it go out"
So ...I guess for me he's pleading for God, for someone, to help him keep his light from being extinguished. To help him keep going.
I'm glad I kept going. [boy, does THAT sound weird to type] There are so many people I would have never met. WI would never have heard of TWLOHA. Sorry, I think their honesty is wonderful. Love them for it.
Anyway, I should go. I'm not feeling the best at the moment.
[& I should attempt to fix that]
 May His grace drip from your fingers,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

thoughts on a movie

I've been working on a review of the film TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS.
oh..... um, this isn't it....

"Look. All the ways you wanna punish Renee for being a s**t friend will pale in comparison to the ways Renee will punish herself."
McKenna [TWLOHA movie]

Some will never understand how true that is of a person they love enough to be hurt by. Some have no idea that the person that can hurt me the worst.... WILL NEVER BE YOU. That person is actually... me. You will never be able to be as bad to me, as abusive to me, as I can.

Let me explain. If you beat me up... you will look at me for a handful of moments, & then leave. I don’t get to leave me behind. Where am I gonna go that I won’t be there? This means that I can beat on me for DAYS without end. So my beating on myself will last infinitesimally longer than your beating ever will. I also know so much more about me than you do. So I can hurt me more efficiently than you can. It can go deeper, much faster, & last so very much longer. Most of you have no real idea exactly how cruel I can be to myself. 
From this standpoint, I can comprehend the dialogue between Dylan & Renee...
Dylan: "Why did you do that to your arm?"
Renee: "It just looked right."
Probably the easiest, shortest way to convey, in some way, how harsh I've been to me over the years is a story I can tell in short form like this:
I was in a peer counseling group in high school. As some of you know [all too well] I have a "quick wit" about me. This is not always a "gift". As you will see. 
One girl was joking with me. We were bantering back & forth. What she didn't have any knowledge of was, I really didn't want to talk. I wanted to be invisible. Not be seen, spoken to, or acknowledged. I was being a real bully to my own self. Inside, of course. So, as she ran out of clever things to say, she said [but did not mean]: "I hate you, B!" To which I [not fully realizing that my filter had been turned off] said: "Get to the back of the line, honey. I was here first." You cannot fully imagine the look of shear horror that quickly swept across her face. Our conversation had come to a violent halt. She came to me a short time later: "Do you REALLY feel that way?" "Um.... yeah. I do sometimes. I don't really need you to hate me. I'm better at it than you."

I have learned to be kind to myself. No, really, I have. Not that I can't turn on me at a moments notice. Yet, I have learned to recognize the signs. I have learned.... put together resources... to keep this "at bay". Learned to fight back against this. Recently, I have put together quotes from people. Some from Twitter. Songs [of course]. You learn to use what works for you. I write.  [as I've mentioned before]
I'm learning to be braver with others. 
Talking about this coming week. How I'm not sure how I'll be till it's over. I'll survive. It's what I do. I'm just not sure how much fun I'll be. I could be "atitudinally challenged." Or a bit "wolverine like". [in all the non glorious, annoyingly "north end of a south bound horse" ways.] [need more adjectives here]
-ok. Enough.  You get the point. Hopefully you laughed a tiny bit in there somewhere. 
I'm not really comfortable with this post. Yet, as I told someone tonight, I'm hoping to be courageous enough to share a bit more of myself on here over the next month. So this is a feeble attempt to begin this. [hopefully it won't bite me in the rear in the near or not so near future]

May His grace drip from your fingers,
I am so glad to get some time with my sister-in-law. I've watched her grow up. When I married Mick, Maria was our flower girl. She was 10 years old. Now she's in her 20's. Living, currently, in Taiwan. Home for another week yet. This last Thurs - Fri. was such a throwback for me. Her, staying overnight here. When Mick & I looked at houses for us to start our life together, & she was with us. She'd say: "Ooo. I like this one. There's my room." She's had a "room" in my heart since I went down to pick Mickey up for a date & she came out to me & asked: "Are you taking my sister out?"
"Um... yeah. Is that ok with you?" She sat there & thought about it for a while. [don't think she'd been asked before, honestly] She responded, after earnest thought: "Yeah... that's ok."
Which was good. I hadn't really thought about how I'd break it to her if she gave a different answer. I immediately became her Brother. She threw this "in-law" business out the first available window. And yes, Brother was always emphasized. She'd always wanted one, this is as close as she's going to get, deal with it. It was quite cute. And, she'd probably hate it to know I've posted this here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

a revisit of sorts...

I said in a previous post that I have a lot to say. This post has been kind of in the back of my mind for some time....

On this blog, as a post & in poem form, I have written of something I found to be a mystery.  A mystery of God. I asked Him on numerous occasions about it, & been given no hint of an answer. 
I asked Him why He took my scars away, & kept His.
I thought I'd give an update on this. Since there indeed is one.
After feverishly asking this question, I gave up on getting an answer. I resigned it as a mystery that would remain unsolved for me.
Some years later...
I received an answer. I'm going to describe it from inside my rather expansive imagination. [you may not want to read this just anywhere. Not sure how it'll hit you. It hit me rather hard.]
I saw an image of Jesus sitting in front of me. How he looked is really not the point of this. He sat with his hand closed into a fist. holding it so I could see his folded fingers. He seemed to speak this into my mind:
"Brian, I removed your scars because they lie to you. All they ever say is: 'you are broken. Broken beyond repair. You can never be fixed. You will never be worth loving.' So I erased them. Because I don't want you to hear that. What I want you to hear... is what my wounds say: [as he speaks he slowly opens his hand to reveal the trademark hole there] "I went through this...just so I could have you. This is how far I would go, just to get you. This is how bad I want you."
I went through this on a Sat. As you might imagine, I just sat there. I couldn't even see through the blur of tears. It was what I needed. Not because I didn't know that....no. Because it's nice to be told in a calm yet unshakeable way that you matter.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Monday, March 2, 2015

To Write Love On Her Arms Movie

Tomorrow a movie comes out. One I am more than a little interested in.
The movie was filmed a few years ago. It has undergone many name changes [from "Renee" to "Day One"] before being named after the Non Profit organization that was born from the story being told....
It's hard to put into words... why I feel so close to this. Maybe it's because I know people who would do what Jamie Tworkowski, David McKenna, & others did. Maybe it's because I've been fortunate enough to have similar friends in my own life. Who just ... "owned" being my friend in a very deep way. I don't know. Maybe it's knowing people who needed someone like this, & trying to be that someone form them. Maybe it's a combination of all of those...
I remember stumbling onto the organization: To Write Love On Her Arms [TWLOHA] from the end of a music video. [The Way She Feels by Between The Trees] After watching the video & seeing the ending, which had these phrases:
I eventually went to the myspace page. Where I read the story. It hit me so hard.... it never really let go. I watched videos of talks Jamie & Renee gave. There was just something about it all. Something in the way they spoke. What was said. How it was said. Last year, I actually got to meet them. Renee, then Jamie. Which was surreal. [a word I'm using too much lately] They were both very kind. Yet my hand hurt from taking so many notes during their talks. There's so much else to say... maybe I'll find a way to say it all better one day. For now, I count down the hours till this film arrives in my mailbox.
The film is now called: TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS official trailer. 

The thing is love isn't always easy, or painless. I don't know why we hide our pain. I only know what happens when we do. When we hide our pain, we shield ourselves from love. We do this because we feel we don't deserve to be loved. What if... love isn't something we deserve? What if love is something given to us even though & when we don't deserve it? What if our imperfections help others to feel closer to us... because suddenly ...those imperfections are what we have in common.

"I don't think that the perfect life
Is coming through without a scratch
If your inside is worth knowing
Then your outside reads like a map"
Tattoo by The 77's from All Fall Down

Love isn't pretty, it's pretty necessary - me
know that you are loved.....

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bring Into The Light

I have so much to say...
I'm going to narrow this particular post down to a painting of mine. My wife has been loving my photos. Every so often she says to me: "You need to print out & have some of these framed. Then DeAnn [From LWCC] can hang them up in the coffee bar! I'm sure she'd do it, & be glad to display them." 
So... it was with that voice in my head that when the "call" went out to give art to an up coming display in the coffee bar, I said ok. I'd give one of my paintings. I'll step outside my comfort zone. 
then came time to get the wire put onto the back of it. I went to The Framers Workshop up near Vo-Tech. It's right about then that I thought: "B... what WERE you thinking? Have you COMPLETELY lost it?" I went in like I was robbing a bank. Fish out of water anyone? Self conscious much? Me? No. Why are you looking at me? Seriously, enough already. Take a picture, it lasts longer. Wait for the movie, k? So they kindly fixed that for me. It's ready to be dropped off. Then I dropped it off. While going back to pull the screws & hook off the wire I see a painting from a local artist I really dig. It hits me. No... Why is my little piece going on display when HE has something for this? This. is. weird.
So I nervously wait/ wonder what it'll be like to have something I did, called art, & hanging in the coffee bar with other works of art. I don't want to admit this, I freaked out a bit. So I keep going to the coffee bar every Wed. wondering what I'll feel when it's actually in there. then...
Tonight, I get an email: What's the title of your painting? ......[cue crickets] Title for a painting. title for MY painting.... I have been so nervous about even letting it hang on a public wall it never even occurred to me that I might want to give this thing a title. So now I feel stupid. -actually, I just feel bad for the gal. Had I thought of that I would have written it on the back of the painting. So she wouldn't have to waste time with me. Emailing, waiting for my sorry butt to reply. As I stared, blankly, at her email... I have to admit my first thought was: "B... don't EVER do this again. This whole wasting other people's time business. If you don't know what your doing, don't punish someone else for it." Well, I shook that off as best I could, & thought I'd give myself a small window of time to come to a title.
So after some google-ing  I came to "Bring Into The Light"
Well... because..... Because I felt put "on display" when I was abused. [among a great many other feelings] Which I detested. So I went the other way. I hid myself. Except for groups of people that I knew for quite a long time, I hid. In the back. In the shadows. I felt like I was not worthy of the company of others. Like my very presence would ruin whatever it was for them because they saw me there. Then, later on I'd go ...for lack of a simpler way to say this, I'd go Robin Williams on them. I'd become the life of the party. Or at least the most fun sober guy you knew. Lately, as I have been in the same group on Wed nights for years now, when we went to the cabin, I let my "fun self" out. Like really out. It felt good, yet I don't want to hide anymore. I don't want the joking side of myself to be another form of hiding. So as I thought of how I'm stepping out "into the world", I started thinking of titles for my painting to symbolize this "stepping in a new direction". This coming out into the open. Also, I think in the back of my mind I heard a voice mail message that a friend left me years ago. When, on a trip to Record & Tape Traders in Towson, Md., I told him & another friend about my abuse story. In his message [that I still replay every so often] he mentioned bringing out into the open,  into the light this darkness that had been hiding in my soul. Also, I've been thinking of To Write Love On Her Arms a lot lately. As the movie comes out Tues. They are always talking [& printing t-shirts] about being courageous with your story. How it's important to care for your story. To be bold with it. I must confess, I love it as long as I don't have to do it myself. Being able to do it myself.....is kinda their point. 
So this painting is part of me bringing myself out into the open. Into the light. [thus the title] If doing this "means anything"... I don't know what. Just to save you asking me. 
So this is my long winded explanation of the title. 
I'm hoping to write a lot more on here in the coming days....

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

a selfie....sorta

[this is what my arms looked like earlier today.]
I don't know if you've ever had an allergy test. This is what "part 1" looks like for a person who has a lot of allergies. I don't do this much... "this" being: share about my health, share directly from my journal, etc.  However, today I thought I would.....

so.... I sit here, realizing I forgot a book to read. 
staring at my arms.
the numbers 1 to 43 written in crayola green marker. itchy...
wondering what the results will be. -& glad it's winter. 
go figure, I HATE drugs...& I'm STILL gonna have track marks for a couple of hours.
however... I'm upright & didn't scare them this time, improvement.
[after the nurse comes to check if I'm ok, & to see how my arms are doing]
I'm doing A LOT better... YEAH! wo-ho!
I might...even...be able to eat carrots again!
and got to encourage a young boy as he got his first skin test.
and help his mom.

The last time I got a skin test, they had to give me a coke, & some cookies, & some pills to help me make it. I also had to sit down, in a big chair. I had severe allergies to so many things. I think the numbers went from 1 - 83. I had a reaction to all but all of them. It looked like a mountain range. [on both arms] 
I not only did well. There was one where I had no reaction. Which is great. 
They gave me my allergy shot afterward. After all that I'm doing pretty good. I was [& still slightly am] a bit hypersensitive to my personal space. Being poked, having several needle sticks, & having someone lightly touching me & measuring the reactive welts on my skin for quite a bit at one time really "filled my quotient" for a while. It can't be helped really. I needed to endure it to get the results. I just... I'm not in a touchy/ feely place right now.

Took the next step with my CDL Class B license test. I failed it. Though everyone was nice to me about it. Everyone but me, at first. So I kept telling myself: "No one else is flipping out about this. So... I'm disappointed, bothered, annoyed... AND -I'm over it now. I'll get it next time" Yesterday was the kind of day I like... when it's over. By the end of the day, I felt a micro similarity to the Navy SEAL saying: "the only easy day was yesterday."
Today was better. 

As for the title of this blog, those pictures were of my arms earlier today. That's what they looked like.  So it's a "selfie"...sorta.

May His grace drip from your fingers,