Sunday, April 13, 2014

the week

 I had a tough week last week. I really fell apart. I had some lifelines made available. I got to go to something at LW. Quite a few years ago they started creating a Sacred Space. A place to slow down & experience God. To savor being still before Him, & with Him. I so needed it. My modem died, my mp3 player died, & my car's fan that circulates air inside the car is on the fritz. Beyond all this I simply fell apart. I haven't felt like that for so very long. One gal from the class I have been going to, made me nervous. I thought: "How am I going to tell her that sometimes touching me just isn't any shade of fun?" What I wasn't expecting is that I have been changing. She hugged me. She hugged me more last Wed. than she's hugged me in the whole nine weeks! Like every five minutes after class was over. She seemed to just know I was really ragged. Normally, well...the previous normal, I would have been very "unpleasant" to be around & especially to hug. I was ok with it, though. The second gal this year to do this & get this kind of reaction. Which is SO unlike me. It is nice to see change. Nerve wracking, yet kind of cool. Another gal saw me coming into the coffee bar [me on my way to The Well -what we call this Sacred Space these days]. I didn't acknowledge her at first. She was in a conversation & I didn't want to disrupt the flow of it. So I was totally unprepared for her to pause it & go "Hey B, loving the book." [or words to that effect]. I'm feeling like I shouldn't even be seen, & so I stop. And "I'm out". I got nothing. I never did handle compliments very well at all. So, I'm my usual awkward self. "uhh, cool. So...glad." I honestly don't know what I said, but it was painfully weird. She was trying to be nice & I just don't know what to do with it. Cause I'm in a bit of a dark place. A bit isolating & solitary. And frayed. Wishing/hoping she can't tell. [& afraid she's nowhere near that naive, or stupid. Briefly wishing she was.] So I move on, "man on a mission" style to The Well. And beginning to pray that no one else I know will be around me for the rest of the night. Why punish people? Though, my church family would never see it that way. I was in The Well for 2 hours. I've never spent as much time trying to pull myself away & calmly enter into it. Everything was just swirling. I just could not quiet my mind. As time lapsed I felt increased pressure. "I can't be here all night." I finally begin to quiet down & settle into my more open calmed rhythm that usually accompanies these things for me. And the knots begin to loosen. I'm still down. Still a bit "to myself", though, that's kind of the modus operandi of this space anyway. You & God. Mono et Mono.
Sat. I got to take a long walk. As you previously read I could use all the calming/centering help I could get. So the following poem came from that.  

I Can Exhale


I can

Breathe again



To be alive

To roam

In free

Clean air

I can walk


“The Wild Places”



Can exhale now


The wind

In the trees

The breeze

As it kisses

My face


My eyes

Can drink

In the deep, long


As spring


By b.e. noll

I feel more ready for what's next now. Enjoyed a 50th wedding anniversary surprise party for my Aunt & Uncle. So fun. I like surprise parties. As long as I'm not the guest of honor. Not really a fan of being the center of attention. Got to hang with my cousins.
And I dusted off a song from an old playlist. I have a list that is kind of personal songs to Him.
So I thought I'd place a few of the songs from there here...
Martika - Love... Thy Will Be Done
U2 - Hawkmoon 269
The Who - Bargan
Spock's Beard - Wind at My Back
TransAtlantic - Stranger in Your Soul
Paul McCartney - Follow Me
The Call - Uncovered
Kevin Max - You are [this song begins after the poem @ about 1:50 into the video]
ok... I want to post some photos & get off line for a bit.

May His grace drip from your fingers,


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a color poem [the t-shirt poem]

Well, I'll say it briefly here as well. I feel like 2014 is the year of stretching me & moving me into things that fall squarely on the list of "never in a million years [at least not if I can help it]". I'm not only driving tomorrow, I'm driving a box truck. Not just to my usual stops, to 2 extra stops on top of it. I'm not really sure I want to know how this year is going to end. Seriously. I got to meet people this year that I think are way cool. And it's only April! Sounds like my birthday weekend will be packed. 2 hikes in as many days. [THIS I could get used to] At least if all things work out ok. Jamie posted on twitter about TWLOHA's colors. Since I had just got back from The Well [which was awesome. Not surprised that it was. I SO needed it.] @ LWCC. I took his post & rhymed my response. So here is the poem that grew out of that...
The Colors of Hope, the colors of conversation
[or the t-shirt poem]

Black & white & blue
The colors
Of me & you
Onto hope
As we ride out
The storms
Wearing t-shirts
Using them
As keys
To unlock prisons
Who knew
The doors
They would open
The words
That were
locked behind them?
The breaking down
Of old little boxes
That people
Were never meant
To be put in
To start a rebellion
The chance
To not be alone
To not feel alone
All starting
With a boy
A girl
A story
A shirt
Words of courage
As they say
And wear it
The bleeding
Really can stop
That it is
Not only possible
But very worth it
On Her

By b.e. noll
[thx Jamie, & friends]

Hopefully I won't get out of work too late or get back too late for my class tonight.
Oh, & you can hear Jamie's interview from Relevant magazine @ 2pm today. Unless you will be "unavoidably detained" like me.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

aaand welcome to April

So, I really shouldn't post tonight. So I won't post a long thing. I'm going to post about me. so this'll be this weird kind of cross between "get to know you" [no really] & "an interview in mono". Yep, I'm still me. 
So I might have a very interesting weekend later this month. Making tentative plans to go to Grand Canyon of Pa. one day, & Rickett's Glen the next. Now, I love to hike, take photos, & hang with friends. So this should be heaven. Assuming it doesn't rain. [yes, I DO have a plan "b". Thank you for asking]
Since I planned to "talk about me" this month this'll be the "no brainer" section. 
I started out with country music, classical, & gospel. Some Johnny Cash [Dad used to love him.  I think Dad sings in a similar register. NEVER tell him this. If you get to hear him sing...just be quiet & enjoy.] In Middle school & got to hear rock for the first time. This would be the moment that I first heard guitars, glorious electric guitars. I would NEVER be the same ever again. I didn't know what made those sounds... I just KNEW I HAD to learn to play whatever made that sound. Eventually I did. Six strings, twelve strings, I do not care. Electric, acoustic I just love guitars. I always will. I have a playlist [& an mp3 disc in my car] "When guitars ruled the Earth". Gary Hoey, Steve Howe, Christopher Parkening, Andres Segovia, Phil Keaggy, Brad Paisley, Robert Randolph, Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani, Tuck Andress, Ty Tabor, Omar Rodríguez-López, ...the list goes ever onward. So Guitar is my number one instrument. Though not the first instrument I learned to play. Nor the only one I'd play around with. 
The first instrument I learned to play was the trumpet. Didn't see that one coming did you? My lips split, really bad. I also discovered that I had a really bad habit of biting/picking at my chapped lips. So I soon gave that up. [maybe that's why I like Miles Davis? -a random note, I'm listening to Davis live @ the Fillmore as I type this]. So trumpet was first, then guitar. That would be the only "formal" lessons on instruments I would get. I have what has been called "an ear for sound". My Grandfather had it. He tuned pianos by ear. My Mother has it. She could play anything she could hear. She heard a friend play the keyboard parts for "Jump" by Van Halen, She learned it in minutes. She could play theme songs to her favorite shows. She even learned the theme to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I have it. I have mostly used it with regard to my voice. Accents, some think I can sing like anyone.[anyone I like, anyway] Many have heard me do voices. I learned the theme to Deep Space Nine years ago [on guitar]. Since I have an ear, I have toyed with bass, piano [Mom's when they weren't home], & keyboard. Over the years I've come to realize that instrument or band [or artist] I like unique ...everything. I like to think my friends are unique [they'd just say "Unique is polite for weird"]. So I've been doing this on Pinterest, I thought I'd do it here. So here is a snippet of some of the well known & obscure bands that I have liked...
Miles Davis Live @ the Fillmore [old version,not the newly re-released full version],
[more "subdued Miles"] In A Silent Way
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones 
Rush - Mission, Fly by night, Alien Shore
Spock's Beard - Skin, Good-bye to yesterday, At the end of the Day, June
Ingrid Michaelson - This War, Blood Brothers, The way I am
U2 - Ordinary Love [acoustic], Invisible  
King's X - We were Born to be Loved

ok...I'm going to stop for now. So many different songs, bands.... Over The Rhine, The Call, Phish, Umphrey's McGee, Plumb, JJ Heller, The Beatles, Bearcat, The Who, Boston, ...

I really should go.
May His grace drip from your fingers,

Sunday, March 30, 2014

a poem for a missed friend

Witman [a poem about "Spot"]
I wish I could say
I know not which direction
to place it on the wind
so it might
one day reach you
you left
the year we graduated
[& I blamed you not]
I could not blame you
I knew
why you had to
to get
as far from
the life you've been living
as you possibly could
I wished
that my own "life" could be escaped
so easily
no matter where I went
it traveled with me
imprisoning me
did I know then
that I would be found out
to be the warden
of this prison
So much harder
to set yourself Free
than to set another free
Yet free you were
we spoke
in delayed conversations
by post offices
our responses to each other
yet we tried anyway
while it did last
Then further apart
became our responses
I was to blame
and I miss you
your drawings
your art
anywhere you could leave
your mark
Such fun
all I have left
are spaces
by The Dead
U2 "stuff"
some old, saved papers
your art was sprawled across
I drive our VW
and wonder
where you have
off to

by b.e. noll 

a busy week ahead. Not sure if I'll be on much. If so, it will be in very small doses. Travel for "fractions" of days, work, meeting, class, & other things that must be done. So... have a great fun adventurous week. Maybe I'll post a photo of me with someone else this week. who knows?

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

perhaps the last of Lent

I wasn't sure where my words would take us. I had one other thing on this Lent idea. [well, maybe it would classify as two] So... here I go. 
Afterward, I believe I might try to do something that, for me, is unthinkable. In April, I'm going to try to do more on myself. Especially ...what I might call: "the Rest of Myself". Parts of my story might find it's way into it. Yet, I want to try to put other parts of my story in. It wasn't all dark. I'd kind of like to prove that. So here's the "last of Lent"

I have a challenge for those of you who are willing/ followers of Jesus.
#1. Whatever you've done. Stealing chewing gum from a relative, to bullying, to hurting someone. No matter what it is. No matter how long the list is...
on Good Friday imagine that you are in a court room. On trial for it. All of it. You're guilty. Everyone there knows it. Reasonable doubt, is a joke. It's a slam dunk. As if you were filmed by surveillance cameras. The guilty verdict comes. Just before the sentencing, though. Jesus walks in. Walks up to the railing. Politely asks to speak to the judge. After hushed words, He steps back. The sentence is read. However, you are told you are free to go. While the constable walks up to Jesus & puts on the handcuffs & walks him out to sentencing. Because that is what is really going on on Good Friday. The carrying out... of our sentence. 
I drew this once. You can try that also. I drew Jesus. A REALLY bad drawing of him. From the back. He's looking over his shoulder to me... & I used my pencil to carve into his back... everything. Things I've done... things that were done to me. He took it all on. I don't know if I posted this before or not. When I went to see The Passion of the Christ the first time... I prayed before I saw it. [I often do this with movies I "feel compelled to see"] During the whipping scene, I found myself saying, over & over again: [thankfully I said it inside my own head] "I. am. so. not. worth this."
It felt like Jesus had, at some point, walked into the theater & sat beside me to watch the film with me. as I said those words over & over inside my head. It felt like he put his arm around me. Gently drew me in close to him. And whispered calmly, lovingly: "Shut up Brian." -and I suddenly stopped. I had a similar experience when I went to the theater to see X-men 3: The Last Stand. I felt like Jesus & I watched the whole film together. Yet, the moment that stands out the loudest,was: When Jean Grey was standing on the mound of broken stuff. Re-bar, concrete, etc. & Wolverine walks up toward her. As she tears him apart with her mind. Seeming to separate his molecules from one another. He keeps walking up to her. Till he stands in front of her. She is so angry, she spits out: "You would die for them?!?" As tears run down what's left of his face, he looks into her eyes & says: "No Jean. Not for them. For you." It felt like Jesus was saying, into my mind, not the usual way we hear things. "This is us. You're Jean...& I'm Logan [Wolverine]" As this washed over me, it caused me to think of all the horrible things I've thought about myself. It's quite a long, & very imaginative list of terrible sentences to speak to one's self. Not to mention things I've said about me, "out loud". 
A frustrated bully: "brian, I hate you". My response: "Get to the back of the line, I was here first."
Funny, how you can be the sick, evil Warden...of your own prison. Population 1, you.
if you make a list, if you copy the drawing idea. When Easter comes...mutilate the list. Burn it safely, or shred it... render it unreadable, un-salvageable...utterly given over to destruction.

#2. The only other side I can think of. 
Whatever has been done to you: bullied, beaten [up or down], told you were "the problem"/no good/worthless, emotional, physical, sexual, and/or self abuse, shot, held prisoner, set on fire, cut...
Imagine Jesus walking in... perhaps into your heart, your mind...your memories... "that vault" where no one has access. Where you hide the "deal breakers" of your life. The things that: "if 'they' knew, they would drop you like a bad habit." Imagine him standing there. Looking at you. Slowly he raises his hand. Opens his palm, face up. In front of you... imagine yourself, placing ALL of those things into his hand. As you do you feel the hole in his hand, you see the rope marks on his wrist. [hopefully you don't really know what rope does to someone's wrist when they struggle] Then, you let him leave with it. All of it. 
Part of the beauty of Jesus is he came & experienced our pain. He lost someone [Lazarus]. He wept over Lazarus, before raising him to life again. He was beaten, humiliated, abused. In a conversation I had with someone shortly after they heard me tell them of the abuse I suffered. I believe it happened during Lent that year. I told them this:
"Jesus & I are similar. And we are very different.
We are similar. In that we were both abused. By people who should have loved us. It wasn't our fault. 
...& we are very different. least my Dad...didn't have to watch."

Not really sure what to say next. I guess you can, maybe, see why this Jesus means so much to me. I knew Christ during the years I was abused. There were times where I felt like he was there. In the room. No...I wasn't sure what to make of it, either.  I'm still working on writing my story. Until this year, I wasn't sure why I would write it. Why anyone should be allowed to read it., having read Renee's book... I get it. Still scares me, but I get it. 

It rained here... all day. Supposed to tomorrow, also........
reminds me of a song, by Michael W. Smith. Healing Rain. [maybe one day I'll post a writing I did to this song]
Well... good night.
May His grace drip from your fingers,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

seeing The 77's [a journal like post]

Tonight was such a nice evening. I went to Lancaster's Square Halo Gallery to see The 77's. I got more than I thought. My girl stayed home. [not being as familiar to The 77's repertoire as me] I got into them in the 90's. Albums like: 88, All fall down, ping pong over the abyss, pray naked, Drowning with land in sight. Only 2 members were there for this "go round". So Chris Taylor acted as the opening act. Really liked his humor, & his lyrics. They launched me into writing. So I have 2 poems here, from tonight. It was also unexpected because I sat down, & was greeted by a friend from LW. Which just made the evening even cooler. I sat wrote 2 poems & got lost in being there. Alive in the moment. Drawing when I wasn't scribbling furiously putting words down. I took some photos as well. Even got my picture taken with Michael Roe. [lead singer, guitar player, song writer]
Well, I should go for now...

Radically, Recklessly Loved
you'll never know
how loved you really are
there are no
in any language
to tell you
how deep this love goes
no matter
the dialect
it's so loud
you might miss it
and it
misses you
very much
it whispers
come home
to me
by b.e. noll

Lost in the Twilight
I'm lost here
bsking in the
lost here
camera at the ready
lost in the
wash of colors
as I sit here
it's as if my
will change everything
and I don't want
to ruin the magic
of this moment
I'm lost
in the art
of the sky
enraptured in
the artistry
the symphony
of colors
like seasoned singers
loving it all
for as long as
I can steal
I'm lost
in the twilight


May His grace drip from your fingers,

p.s. enjoy this, I don't do this very often. [posting pic's of me. should've done this with the photo I have of Renee & myself]

Michael Roe: "so, this isn't a selfie because there are two of us in it, right? it's an 'Us-ie'."
We laughed. [I was thinking the same thing]
Me: "actually it's a '3rd partie' because the person who took the picture isn't in it."

Friday, March 21, 2014

a new poem

[wrote this while sitting in my car. Listening to a great song]

Someone Wants You

I know
what he did
I know
the wounds
so deep
straight to your
steadily hollowing out core
his actions
like a jagged sword
cutting you there
the wound
develops this
eating away at
what's left of you
hollowing you out
are certain that
can't have any value
that no one
could possibly want you
someone does
more people
than you know
you do have value
you are one of a kind
are worth fighting for
are worth
the space you occupy
we aren't giving up
on you
join us
by b.e. noll

might be off line for a bit. Might not notice here. I've got a lot of things swirling in my head. I need to off load this stuff. Kind of a deep breath. There's so much inside of me. I just need to let it spill out. So I can relax. So my head feels lighter. So I can keep pushing forward. Growth can be painful. Yet, stagnation... is the death of never really living. Or... not living...anymore.

May His grace drip from your fingers,