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 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 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,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

a random note

So I sit here with about 5 "in the middle of" blog posts, each in a totally different direction.
While I think on things that need to be "caught up on".... impatiently waiting for the To Write Love On Her Arms movie to come... & wrestle with an odd problem. Mick wants me to display 1 of my paintings from the Jackson Pollock "month" at Infused Arts. So what's the problem? I want to display my "purple one" [so named for the background color of it]. Yet, I want to display it in a way that I can hang it from any of it's 4 sides. Partly because I like it for different reasons based on the side it hangs on. This falls squarely under the category: "Only me". I am slowly going through all manner of "strange stuff in random boxes that happen to occupy space in my basement". So this is the reason, well 1 of them anyway, why I am so scattered/ random on twitter, facebook, here. I am determined to get through everything I own. As I slowly make my life less cluttered, stressful, & complicated. So I can concentrate on health, joy, growth, peace, & art. I plan to be not just "more artsy"... to explore the art forms that I am exposed to. So I may actually put my art on display. I'm working on a calendar for 2016. A calendar of my own photos. Which means I'll have to look back over them & pick a few. I've been wanting to do this for a few years now. I just haven't actually done it. So as the year unfolds, I'm hoping to write & publish more poems & photos online. Off line I hope to expand my cooking/ baking adventure. I may even try to paint more. I finally broke down & got new hiking boots, so very worth it. Last weekend I got to go out & hike 9/10ths of the outside path around Rocky Ridge park. Laughing & realizing that I went from: "Gee...I really need to get new hiking boots." to: "Gee... I'm so glad I got new hiking boots." So their test "drive" went extremely well. Guess I'll make this it for now. As I am enjoying all manner of Red Velvet goodies [mini powdered doughnuts, M&M's, cookies] -mmmmm, red velvet deliciousness! Sorry, I'm human. I have my weaknesses....

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Winter's Drive

To drive through
the painting
is such a privilege
the frost glistening on the grass
winking like diamonds
as I pass
the sunrise playing
indecisively with the color palate
first in one order
then suddenly reversing
just for fun
the colors waltz
across the sky
I do not wonder why
I simply sit
in my seat & enjoy
the show
as I drive ever onward

by b.e. noll

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Welcome to a new beginning. A new year. Who knows what will come of this year. Guess it's time to explore it.
As for those resolutions..
Hey, don't be too hard on yourself. Quite a few years ago I decided to try to go a years without buying any new music. Those who know me well know how hard that is for me. I just wanted to try. To prove to myself that I don't worship music, itself. I decided to try new years as an easy to remember date. I did succeed. After about four new years of trying. Talk about bummed. Yet, when I succeeded...I felt so good. A long fought victory. Other times I fought, I prayed, for days on end. desperately for something. For a change to come. You know, those: " this year, please make [blank] happen. - or stop happening." Only to eventually wake up & go "...wait, when did that finally happen? Where was I at?" Crazy. Change isn't often easy. Whether you suddenly have to deal with it having happened. Or if you are trying to instigate the change.
I have a friend who has decided to eliminate wasting time. I'm not sure when, or in what form, I began to really examine my life. To eliminate the wasteful, stressful parts. Talk about one thing leading to another. Who knew obtaining from music would lead to clothing changes, furniture changes... explorations into art. Long, meditative walks/hikes... you never know where a change can lead... even mistakes... can lead you somewhere. You may have needed to go there...more than you know.
Welcome to midnight. Remember though, there's another one in 24 hours. Every 24 hours. There are a lot of chances to start again. Don't give up.
Now.... I gotta kiss my girl!

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a day, a movie update, & welcoming midnight

Hello all. In the ongoing craziness that is me getting my CDL license, I passed the part of the test I took. [more on that later. For now..... I would like to shamelessly plug a movie. Partly in the secret hope it will play in York.
I believe that I've mentioned the organization 

It began with a story. And has become a movement. A movement of community. Some have seen me use their hashtags [#twloha #peopleneedotherpeople #loveisthemovement] I know I've used others... 
Some have seen my shirts. The "black title" one [with the Donald Miller quote on it]. The @sevenly colab shirt: "La Vie Et Belle", & my brown title shirt. 
They began by helping a girl named Renee. Who I got the pleasure of meeting this year. Along with meeting [several weeks later] Founder [& author of the story] Jamie Tworkowski.
I got a Christmas gift. -ok, well I wasn't the only one who got it. A film was made of Renee's story. 
Of the story behind this wonderful non-profit. I have posted before about the film. Which SONY has picked up, & will be releasing in March of 2015. So... I'm taking a little time before I go off to sleep for the last time this year to promote this film again. Since the new year starts a countdown to the movie.
[here's a link: To Write Love On Her Arms movie
& others: twloha on nbc twloha on cbs ]

The "plan" was to help a friend. How interesting it is that in helping one friend... they would make so many more... As they grew they wanted people to be able to talk about things like depression, self-injury, suicide, addictions, sexual abuse... because we all need to be real with at least one person. We all need people.We need each other. Sometimes it's hard to admit it. It can be hard to trust. Especially when trust has been betrayed. Yet we need others...sometimes to remind us that we matter. To remind us that how our story ends is very important to them. I would love to say more... however, tomorrow will be my longest New Years Eve, & I'm not going to survive it. I'm not going to simply "exist through & beyond it". I'm going to be fully alive in it.
To be fully awake. ...and I'm going to be thinking about Renee.... about Jamie... about TWLOHA.... about new beginnings, new chapters.......
and I'm going to remember their countdown.... an old t-shirt they made last year....
I do believe there are better days ahead. I do believe that there are awesome days to live for. Days that will be better than today. Yeah, there will be days to tolerate. Days where I'll still say: "due to lack of interest, today has been cancelled." However, there will be good days. Days to laugh with friends & family. Days to eat good food, while having good conversations, telling funny old stories. Days to just hang out. Days to take long wonderful hikes through the woods, days to take photos of sunsets & frost, snow & leaves, flowers in the rain...
Here's to those days.
May you have more than your "fair share" of them.

May His grace drip from your fingers,