Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beginning Lent

Last night I got to experience "The Labyrinth, a Sacred Space" @ LW. Though they seem to not be calling it The Labyrinth anymore. There has been at least one time when it didn't follow a Labyrinth "structurally". So I understand why they might not be calling it that anymore.
It does free up the artists who create the space to create more freely, "a space" as opposed to always making a path for you to follow. -though that has always been, even though you are free -even encouraged- to move about the space as you feel God speaking to you. Spending more time in one room than another. Perhaps even spending all of your time in one room. I may spend all of one of my visits in one room. [I typically go 2 times in a given year]
For me [if I may "wax poetic" for a moment] Stepping into the Labyrinth... is stepping... inside God. I feel Him "on me" in a way that can best be described as jumping into the ocean. [Ala cliff diving into it.] Everything feels different. There is a smell. No, not a smell that is put into the room. A familiar smell. The scent of God. It is also a time of brutal honesty. Sharing frustration. You know, "taking the gloves off", as it were. Of saying, again, "God, I know You too well to be mad at You. ...but not well enough to know what You're doing."

This year my growth group went. The Labyrinth. In a group. My friend I told said it best: "Ick". This is a very private time with God. Very personal, "you & God" thing.
However, I had never done it as a group. I'll try a lot of things, once. We ended up going by ourselves, at our own pace. Just meeting beforehand, then spacing out, so as not to be too crowded. Encouraged to enjoy it at our own pace. Don't feel forced to act/ think/ be any certain way [other than respectful & quiet for others]. It went very well. I so loved it. I moved into a more free place with it this year. I actually laid down on the floor in one room. [I never felt comfortable doing that previously] I wrote feverishly in about 4 rooms. I even wrote a poem in one room. [just sorta "came out".]
I think I may go back & delve into these 4 rooms a bit deeper. A friend [who is involved in creating the space] told me she thought I'd love one room... I have to admit, each of the rooms I liked, made me think, if only for a moment, "this one?". But then I saw a sign in one room, the moment I saw it... I instantly smiled, & thought of her. I tried to wipe that smile off, gave up, & breathed a prayer of thanks for my friend. [I may, in the coming weeks, post more "in depth" about what I got out of this room & the 3 others.]
Well, I must go, for now. I plan to post another color poem. But I have to figure out how to preface the thing first.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"color poems" [blue]

L.L. Barkat is creating these little "games" [can I call them games?] for writers. "Poem Challenges" might seem better. So I will attempt to encourage a friend & write one at the same time.
[btw, this title is borrowed from a wonderful song by Paul McCartney]
Why so Blue?
i hear how you are
it saddens me so
I think
i may know
why your blue
please don't be
so hard on yourself
there are more people
than you probably know
who are cheering for you
praying, too
We wait
with great
for whatever
you end up
doing next
and praying
you'll share it
"the rest of the class"
why so blue?
creative little you
is a nice color
used to be my favorite
but blue
is the wrong crayon
when painting
your mood
I wish
you could see you
as the rest
of us do
you are so creative
so encouraging
please tell us
let us know
do we
to encourage you?
why so blue?
[we love you... do you even know?]

As I stated, this is kinda written for 2 people that I know.
I wrote a few "red" ones...
We'll see if I have the guts to share any...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Diggin' It ...part 2 [DKB live]

I don't know why I like this photo [above], just do. My friend Joe emailed me about a week ago & said "Donnie's playing a gig at Beyond Coffee. It's right down from your place." So I had to go.

This is the acoustic he used tonight. I haven't seen it before, but he had it during his days gigging with Burning Blue [a band he helped start, I think].
The picture below reminds me of us "jamming" in my parent's basement. Joking around, talking about things. And him jamming all the while. I've always liked Donnie's soloing. [& his tone]
Tonight was no exception. He & his Bass player had really good harmony vocals going on. He knows how much I love good, tight group vocals. They sang so well. Added their own touch to a southern gospel number [I'll fly away]. I'd love for them to record it. His solos tonight were every bit as intoxicating as they've always been. It was always fun to watch his fingers dance across the fretboard. Coaxing conversations out of his instrument.
It was great to be cheering him on with Mick, Joe, & Scott [Snyder, the other Scott from high school]. I'm just realizing that Joe, Scott, Donnie, & myself all went to Vo-Tech together. [Donnie is a few years younger than the rest of us, & the only one who didn't take electronics. He took cabinet making]

Guitars have fascinated me for a very long time now. I started learning just after high school. [took lessons for 10 years.] I'll have to get one of mine out tomorrow & see if I can coax a broken, stumbling rendition of "Michelle" by the Beatles out of it. Maybe run through some picking exercises from memory.

Well, I must be off for now...

Currently listening to: Donnie & me Jamming [a "bootleg" of sorts live from the basement, fun times]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Father... [pt 1]

This is not
a fun holiday
for some.
Please be with those
for whom
it isn't.
The ones
who never had anyone
yet, enter their life.
For them no matter how long it's been
it's been too long of a wait.

Those who had
but they are gone.
[perhaps, because
that some one is with You]

Also, please
be with those whose
"once upon a time..."
followed by,
"...we were in love."
who feel
"happily ever after"
...isn't coming

You specialize
in the impossible
for You
the impossible
is just another day
at the office.
is Your business slogan.
You seem
to pick
the ones who were thrown away.
are the consummate artist.
an "art restorer".
You remove the dust,
the grime,
the dirt,
the graffiti,
from us.
Others throw
us away...
and You say
"watch this..."
You take "unique"
[as in: who in their right mind would want that?]
and make it
[where did you get that?!?! -I want one]

for wanting me...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

forgive me for my intermitten poem bursts...

L.L. Barkat has been doing a bit of a "poem challenge". I like giving these a stab. As most of my poems simply flow out of me. Without any guidelines. My guidelines usually come after the poem is finished. This one seems to have no light or hope in it. This one shares too much of a darker part of my story. These are 2 "filters" that I decide no, I don't think this one should be shared. L.L. 's latest is for us to use "Once upon a time" [or other fairytale language] or even just the word "Once".
Well "Once [pt 2]", I do not think I'll share. However.... how about a really old one [that deAnn almost published in Inklings [called Only Once] & one I wrote on break today [Them].
Only once was born out of a book [this book, Inside a cutter's mind, understanding & helping those who self-injure by Jerusha Clark & Dr. Earl Henslin]

What made me buy this book, was a story near the end of it, lifted from the site An anonimous story, called: Only Once. I lifted the title only. And I borrowed a line from a video I watched by a self-injurer "protect me from what I want". [This was written over a year ago]

Only Once

I can’t seem to let this go
It separates me from everyone I know
I don’t want to be alone
But they can’t reach me,
Not even one
How did I get here?
How do I leave?
Can anyone help me?
How long will I hold onto
That which wants my death?
How long
till I see the sun again?
Will You help me give up,
What is killing me?
Is it too late to reach back
For the ones who seem to want
what I despise?
Will I see me as they do?
Why do they want me?
When I don’t?
They remind me of You
Loving what seems unlovable
Help me give them what they want
What You want
Protect me from what I want
Save me from the whispers in my head
I know You can
I know You want to
Help me let You
Help me to reach for them
The few that seem to walk near
but cannot touch
cause when I can stand their touch
when I can feel them near
I can feel You
It is You that I see
In the looking glass of their eyes
Is Your reflection
They are beautiful
Thank You for making them
Thank You for ….
Having them want me
To reflect Your feelings about me

As I wrote this one [on break today] I was thinking about my friends. And how much I need them. Thinking about how important the facts stated here are to me. And to people who have been through similar things. This fits L.L.'s poem guidelines...

upon a time
not long ago
I told them
[well, some of them]
I thought
I'd die
I didn't
run away
[dump me like a bad habit]
they didn't
the ones
who know
are fine
the ones
who know
that they don't know
are fine
[...they're fine
'cause they know some do know]
is this
my "happily ever after"?
...but I can
see it from here
[...@ least some days]

Take care, be safe, know you are loved

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wine me, dine me, Over the Rhine me...

I can't really post long here tonight. As yesterday I really did nothing. My major achievement was moving from not feeling good in bed, to not feeling good on the couch. [& being depressed about it]

However, though the feeling bad [having nose & eye problems] began a bit on Sat. night...
I still got to go on a date with my blond [that would be my wife].
We walked for supper, in Carlisle, had time to unplug from everyone but each other. And got to sit in perfect seats for Over the Rhine. This was our first time to see the group, comprised [primarily] of Karin Bergquist & Linford Detweiler. First concert where they served not just beer, but wine. Intriguing. It was wonderful. Upright & electric bass, Karin played: acoustic guitar, piano, & a cookie sheet [on "Don't Wait for Tom"]. She is the lead vocalist. I am kind of embarassed to describe her singing like this, but honestly, I've never heard a singer sing in such a way as to sound like she's "making love" to a microphone. Her voice sounds so, lovingly sung into it. She really sounds like she's singing to just Linford. [her husband] She sings lyrics that are: desparate/ confessional/ love [sometimes enough to make you blush, but never what some would call "adult" or graphicly so]. I love the way they write. They also have a comical side -as well as a playful side- both were on display on Sat. They were a 5 piece on Sat. Joined by a fenominal bass player, drummer, & electric guitarist. Linford is poet, keyboard/piano, bass, & guitar player. I loved him reaching over Karin's shoulder to make an adjustment to the piano settings, & her playful glance back at him. [& hushed "thanks dear"]
Over the Rhine is a favorite band for me for many reasons, Jazzy, Mick likes them, husband & wife group... I consider them one of my "inpiring art bands". I have been writing a good bit more since. [they really get the poetry flowing for me, for some reason]
The venue was wonderful. Run by nice people [who couldn't figure out why I had no coat on... "ah, I've heard this one before"] Karin's voice washing away the day, & wisking us to a romantic land. Linford reminding me that it's been too long since I've heard Mom "tickle the ivories". Thier lyrics an equal mix of bowing before THE Lover, & enjoying setting next to my love. [not feeling guilty about either.] Reminding me that I do really love poetry. [& that God is the consumate poet]. Well, I guess I should go... I'm jumping for random points of conversation to others. So, I need to rest...
I'll leave you with the words from 2 of the many songs they did
[all written by Bergquist & Detweiler]

Hush Now {Stella's Tarantella}
Hush now
my sweet
little noisy boy
There is trouble enough
in the world
Pick up your feet
little lazy boy
Come dance
with your
little girl

Spin me
'round this kitchen floor
Like a carnaval
I know
only two-bit clowns
In a one

But make me a
little bit
dizzy boy
Swing me
on your trapeze
When I'm
in the arms
of my
dreamy boy
It still makes me weak
in the knees

Right here
on this record player
Is our scratchy song
We're alone
Slide trombones
like an orchestra
Full of

Come now
my sweet little
breathing boy
I'm listening hard
to your heart
It's as strong
as a lion's boy
Let's leave here and make a new start

I remember once you said
Lying in this bed
The past is dead
is a one-act play

[one of my favorites]
was born to laugh
I learned
to laugh
though my tears
was born to love
I'm gonna learn
to love
without fear

Pour me
a glass of wine
Talk deep
into the night
Who knows
what we'll find

The Holy Ghost
haunting you
Whatever you got
I don't mind

Put your elbows
on the table
I'll listen long as I am able
There's nowhere
I'd rather be

Secret fears,
the supernatural
Thank God
for this new laughter
Thank God
the joke's on me

We've seen
the landfill rainbow
We've seen
the junkyard of love
Baby it's no place
for you and me

was born to laugh
I learned to laugh
through my tears
was born to love
I'm gonna learn
to love
without fear

Monday, February 2, 2009

25+ random things about me… [longer version]

I have a few ideas/ goals that I'm going to try to begin on here. So, with that in mind this is my beginning point. Not how I envisioned it, but here goes. This showed up on Facebook the other day, & afterward one called "One Word". So, I'll be starting with these & afterward going into a few of my own...

25 Random Things About Me
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to the "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I got to go to France twice, took my wife the second time [Julie's wedding] & we went to Paris [I've also been to Canada, Switzerland, & England -if the airport counts] I'll try to put a few pix up on the photo blog. [of: the wedding, Paris, & where my Aunt & Unlce lived -De Chateau de St. Albain
2. I love to drive, my Jetta is my favorite car. [it makes me think of my artistic, snowboarding friend, Scott. Miss you Scott, who will help me get a board & boots?] my buddy Scott [aka "Spot, the finely groomed mutt"]
3. ...people knew me before either of us came to LW ...those people would be: Jack Dyson, Ed Korver, & Iva [her maiden name was Stiles]
4. I hate: sharing like this/ being the center of attention/ crowds [but I love reading these & hearing others share about themselves] some of my decision to try to post about myself is my enjoyment of learning about friends on facebook & learning about [& from at the same time] deAnn.
5. I have cliff dived, rock climbed, & repelled. [still not really afraid of being up high… it’s the rapid, sudden decent that gets me] there's an embarrassing video somewhere of me "freaking out" while repelling. The guy was all panicked & yelling at me so I yelled back.
6. I love snow [& pretty much anything that gets me out into it] there are a precious few times I don't like snow...
7. I write poetry, “dabble” in drawing, have stumbled into photography… -all of which I have put examples of here.
8. I love to hike [ out in nature, the mountains] this usually ends up with me writing poetry, writing in my journal, delving deeply into reflection, & prayer to God
9. I love watching people. People are poetry in motion. [I think humans are the sculptures of God] I've said much of this here before.
10. I love music [this could have at least a list of 25 things to it]... so much so, that I've thought of doing a music blog.
11. The first instrument I learned was the trumpet [quit, my lips split –bad], then guitar. [I’ve “fiddled around with”: piano/ organ [mom has one], bass, dulcimer [lap & pluck], keyboard… would love to have time & $$ to learn to play a Chapman Stick.] I have what my Mother calls "an ear for sound". This is where doing voices comes from. I was told [long ago, when I was braver/ stupider] that I even can sing like other people [I will -of course- never prove this]
12. The list of jobs I’ve had, is probably longer than this list. [twice as long?] maybe I'll try to post a list here someday.
13. I have met many of the musicians that I’ve liked over the years. [the ones that still stick with me as memorable are: King’s X, Iona, & Rich Mullins]
14. as for “doing voices”… no, I don’t know how I do it. [I only know I can by the reaction I get from others hearing me do it]
15. I like martial arts [especially Cnctema]. It teaches you that your greatest enemy… is you [everyone else who fights you eventually goes away]
16. oddly, I am an only child. My Dad, is 1 of 8. [the only 1 who had only 1, so when the Noll's get together it's kind of like being @ LW on a Sunday only with a few less people] ...can I be honest? [I'd never tell my Mom this] but... I have times where I wish I had a brother & sister or 2. But even opening up on a blog is really hard for me. I wrote 3 versions of this before I agonized over even publishing it.
17. around 1990 I stopped going to church & thought I'd never go back [5 years later, I went to LW] Mick got me to try churches, Living Word [LW] was the first church we tried. LW feels like home, I mean... like a dream home. [I'll post more about this later, as well as...]
18. when I moved to York, my friends thought I moved to New York [no... I moved to the old one. Weird thing is, I only moved from Lititz] I lived in Lititz from the age of 3 to the age of 13]
19. long before texting, I puzzled a teacher I had [& Mom] "...Brian, what does idk mean?" "why did you put 'I don't Know' for an answer?" "I didn't want to lie. I knew I didn't know what the answer was."
20. As a child I had no dominant hand [did everything with both]. My Dad had dreams of me being the first ambidextrous pitcher. [yeah, that didn't happen -obviously] you would have loved watching me eat... one bite left hand, next bite right hand. my reaching for the fork each time was the comical part. I got held back a year for this, so I graduated in 1990. [form York County Vo-Tech, if it matters]
21. TV right now, NCIS & The Unit [love stuff with good humor in it & crafty/ imaginative dialogue writing in it]... to do deAnn's "what's in your video recorder?" NCIS, One Tree Hill, Sometimes Criminal Minds [love some of the quotes], Sometimes CSI, Numbers off 'n on. [but, I watch too much TV!]
22. Since G. I. Joe will come out later this year, my fav. was Snake-Eyes. I seem to be able to be as "stealth" as he is. Once while playing capture the flag, I was hiding in the bushes. Got stepped on -& the person still had no idea I was there.
23. I've had at least 2 accidents where I should have died [in a car, ran over by a 16 wheeler. and almost electrocuted] I may post about these 2 incidents at a later time, God really was keeping me alive through these. It seems Sci-fi when I think about all that He handled
24. I've also had almost enough stitches to make a major league base ball. I cut myself so many times I went to concentra & they just said "right or left?" none of these where on purpose, mind you. with all that my poor body has been subject to, I'm amazed that God was kind enough to not let the hideous scars be permanent. I have a few scars, but they are small, considering. [The electric shock one I had a pink, lazer like burn mark down the side of my face for months.]
25. truthfully, even I don’t know why I can learn electronics stuff just by taking & playing with it. [I rarely use a manual. When I do it’s to figure out what else it can do]
26. I guess I enjoy baking more than cooking, but not by much [alas, I do neither very much right now] ...I was a cook at Cracker Barrel, for a short time.
...27. I've lived in 6 houses. [all in PA, 2 in Lititz]
28. the furthest West I've been: Wyoming [summer camp with YAF Fishnet]
furthest north: Canada [during a national holiday, didn't see much. was staying in Stowe Vermont]
furthest south: Florida [stayed with my Dad's parents -who lived there over the winter, went to Disney, got out of school. A year later got chicken pox]
Furthest east: Switzerland [we parked -NO LIE- under a water fountain! -that was in the middle of a man made pond of sorts. this was while staying "Au Chateu" -1st trip]
Highest up: Top of Le Mon Blanc [which is French for "The Mountain White"] ...& yes this would be the 1 & only time I wore a heavy winter coat -in the summertime! It's a glacier on top. While it is named "En Francais " [in French], it is geographically in the Swiss Alps.

I'm going to stop here, at least stop with the numbering post framework. I'll try to continue in 1 of 2 ways. Posting about me & the "tamer" parts of my story, perhaps even try my hand at creating something like this or the "One Word" thing.

Ok... so I have a friend or 2 that are therapists. And I got 3 good ideas from them. You may not want to share these with me [or anyone else]. But if you share a bit with me I might share a bit of my answers to these on here back to you. Here they are, I think they are cool things to do....
"The Miracle Question"
If a miracle happened tonight [while I was asleep] what would my life look like?

#2. Write a letter to yourself, from the future...
[any point in the future, a year, 5, 10,...]
how did you get to "where you are"? what would you want to tell yourself about life now?
#3 was creating a list of goals [& a timeline of sorts as to : "get this done by March 1st" type deal]

[to borrow from SNL, when Chevy Chase was the "weekend update person"...]
"that's the news... I'm Brian Noll -& your not"


One of the blogs I'm glad I've found is Seedlings in stone. On it L.L. has given a few ideas [dares?] to borrow, partially write, or re-write one of her poems.
So here is a stab at one of the ideas...

If memories were sparrows…

If memories were sparrows,
Sometimes my sky would be so thick with them
That they would blot out the sun.
…other days
There would barely be one.
Some days they would make
“My sky” seem so much warmer
As if lit by the summer sun.
Other days it would be bitter cold
[& very dark]
No fun

Most of my “sparrows”
Would be very kind, & friendly…
But there are those
Who are my enemy…
A nuisance
A pest
Don’t play very well
With the rest.
I’m learning
[As I continue traveling]
How to live with
& make peace with them.
They are not me
They are not
The only things
Others see
When they look at me

I know one day
These “darker ones”
Will fly away
Never to be heard form again
They will not be remembered
Or looked for.
There will only be
The warm ones
That’ll come out
To play
& new birds
To fly in a new sky
Over a new world
The masterpiece will be restored
I’ll even be a part of it
[…& yes, it will be good]

Sunday, February 1, 2009

a sabbath song

One of my favorite "songs to God".
[it describes my relationship with Him]

Drunkard's Prayer


You're my water
You're my wine
You're my whiskey
From time to time

You're the hunger
On my bones
All the nights
I sleep alone

Sweet intoxication
When your words
Wash over me

Whether or not
Your lips move
You speak to me

Like an ocean
Without waves
You're the movement
That I crave

And in that motion
I long to drown
And be lost not to be found
You're my water
You're my wine
You're my whiskey
From time to time

cd: Drunkard's Prayer
by: Over the Rhine