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,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Anatomy of a Gift [revisited]

I have been told by my mother that people are the eternal treasure. I treasure my family & my friends. My growth group guys, my extended family, my church family...
People... are the only "thing" we can't replace. They are what matters the most.
More than trees...
more than pretty paper....
more than songs....
So..... if people are a gift to our lives. Then... here's the break down for you. A [hopefully wonderful] analogy for you this Christmas.
If a human is a gift to the rest of us, then.....
The clothes, hair color, jewelry, piercings, glasses, makeup, vehicle, house, job.....
that's the wrapping paper.
The body, itself,   the mind, the heart.... are the box.
The soul [intellect, emotions, personality] THAT'S the gift.
the part that makes you
YOU ARE A GIFT TO US. PLEASE don't forget. Among all that you ever read here, please don't forget that ever. we are left with:
The tag.
To me the tag is two sided.
On one side... is the boy in the manger.
To remind us who the gift is from......
& on the other side is the cross......
to remind us...
what the gift is worth.
Jesus is a gift to us. His end all stories. The greatest love story, of all.
He gave us you.
are a gift to us.
So we thank Jesus.... for sharing.
For sharing you...
with us.
Merry Christmas....
& may His grace drip from your fingers,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Here... now

So..... been quite a while. I don't know what I have to say. I've been working on going through stuff here in the house. I, today, became capable of going online all over the house. An early/ unusual Christmas with my parents. I've had a router. I now have a laptop. [no smartphone yet, one step @ a time I guess.] I'm close to having a CDL driving license. I go for my "behind the wheel" test the last Tues of the year. That has been keeping me from writing... both on & off line. As has a request for a "not necessarily Christmas list". Which, being the person that I am, has been much different than what was thought when the request was made. Though I am close to finishing it, as I have envisioned it to be. Quite an exhaustive/ comprehensive list. It's in a spiral bound book form. Though in all fairness, much of it isn't for sale. It's more goals/ routines/ personal changes than it is a "I want to buy x". If anything I post here or else where looks funny or misspelled, please forgive me as I get used to this laptop. It is fun to be typing this in the basement.
Hopefully in the new year I'll get back to posting more....

As for this Christmas season... I have been much ..."blue-r" than I think I ever have. Which I don't understand. I can't say anything really awful has happened. I just noticed it a while ago. Though as I type a transition has been going on the last few days/ hours away from the blueness. I had a great Sat. Both this one & last one. Last week I made fudge, Chocolate Crinkles, & Sandtarts with my Mother. Most of the day. I didn't think the fudge would be good. We didn't remember how she used to make it. It. got. AMAZING! So thankful [I want to borrow from Renee & say: "thankfuls"] Anyway, I've been putting this laptop "through it's paces" for a few hours now. Listening to music [currently Pentatonix singing cool Christmas tunes]. Walking through the house trying to see if there are any "dead spots" in my wireless. going on facebook, twitter, pinterest, & here. I need a bit of a break. So for now, Have a wonderful Christmas, look forward to the new year. It's another adventure, another chapter in your life. Make it count. 
I don't want to be alive.... I want to be a living, breathing, growing human being.
I want my story to inspire people to continuously grow into better versions of themselves.

The best presets aren't sitting under the tree, they're sitting around it.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

about a photo & a comment...

"This is my bliss face. I've never seen it before."
You know, it's funny how someone can innocently teach you something just by speaking. [or, in this case typing]
This is my sister-in-law. On her wedding day. I posted this photo on Facebook. The quote is her comment to me on the photo......
You know what? I think that's what I want to do to/for people with my photos. -well, some of them anyway. Show them what they've never seen. I'd like to do that with my portrait photos. Show people... the beauty & joy of themselves. Beauty they might not stop to see. A value in themselves that maybe they haven't believed in.
I've seen Marianne ["Mare" as we call her] go through struggles... maybe that's part of the joy I feel in her comment. That I could capture for her a moment of bliss. A spark of joy. The beginning of a new chapter in her life. Honored that I could be there. Thankful to be able to stand with her family. To be able to stand with Ben's family. To be able to stand with their friends. [they have such cool friends]

Though, my thoughts on this... as they wash over my mind like waves on a beach. Make me realize how selfish I've been. How my own insecurities... punish more than just me. Rob others as much as myself. For so long I haven't "enjoyed myself". To some degree, I've kept others from their ability to enjoy me fully as well. Not that my life has been all painful. It surely hasn't. It surely could be much worse. [& could have been so for a great deal longer] I'm just continually becoming aware of how my brokenness ...the depth of it. the height of it, the insidiousness of it. The limitations it put on my.
Yet I am also becoming aware of how to gently step outside of it. And live. Marianne's comment... so helps in this regard. It's like a nudge or an alarm. Wake up. Keep going. There's so much more to see. So much more to journey to. Even if getting there isn't any of the fun. Arriving will be.
I guess it also reminds me that I've been seeing ...ways to joy in my life. I never realized how alive I could feel... till I began to take more forays into artistic endeavors. Hiking...painting... writing... photography... cooking...baking... I want to eventually break out my guitars & play them again. Just to see where that might also lead. I'm ..."excitedly scared"... or, is that scared excited?
How can you be someone who enjoys being a "wall flower" & end up being the center of attention somewhere?
How do you live as an introvert in an extrovert role?
[can there be such a thing as an extroverted introvert?]
So this is me. Learning to call myself an artist. Learning that being one...might be freeing.......
maybe freeing for more people
than just me....

I've been an only child my whole life....
yet, I find myself with sisters now....
brothers now... [so glad for Ben Krouse. my "new" brother-in-law]
thankful for my brothers from Wed night.
guess..... I'll never be an only child ever again.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

not sure I should say this. [is it helpful?]

So I'm wondering if I can pull this off. A friend wants to talk about suicide with me. Which causes a swirl of thoughts. Can I give them hope & encouragement? Can I really be honest? Can I really "get back there"? Into those moments of hopelessness. I'll admit, it's kind of nice to struggle to get back there. [instead of the struggling to get out & away from there. Which was very hard to do] Which also begs the question will it get me stuck again? -doubtful.
My question "can I really be honest?" isn't quite what you might think at first, either. What I mean is:

This isn't just a "Can I be brutally honest to them without hurting them?"
I actually am thinking more along the lines of: "Can I push the truth out through my lips"
Will I be able to really let them go "all in" into the nuances & crevices of it. [thoughts, feelings, actions] Can I do this in a truly helpful fashion? How do I let them know that what worked to pull me out ...probably won't work exactly the same for anyone else? We are all unique. 

The thing we all have in common is we are all different.
Not to be preachy, God doesn't want to have your relationship with him...with me. 
He's not a manufacturer. Making one cool thing... & making a ga-zillion of them.
Nope. God is an artist. He makes one... & never makes anything like it again. 
I used to think he looked at me & went: "wow.... I'll never do THAT again."
The words are correct. The vocal inflection is wrong....
"WOW.... I'll NEVER do that again." .....meaning: "I like him/her.... so much, that I'll never do that again. They are too beautiful to repeat."
So I'm praying about this conversation.  Not so much that I "save the day". More that he uses what I say..... however he wants. Somewhere between my voice & their ears... HE gets to say what ever he wants..... & we "have ears to hear". He can speak to us both at the same time. Who knows? ...he just might.

So I'm thinking of some quotes/ lines from different people as I think on this, too.
Please don't hide your scars - let them shine as lights to help the rest of us find our way - in the darkness. - Aaron Kunce

The way you treat your heart and speak of your story is what you encourage me to do with mine.   Please, be kind with your heart and courageous with your story.  [click on these sentences to read the whole blog post. I really liked it. From TWLOHA. Thanks Aaron Moore]

"...And I'm a long
long way
from your hill
on Calvary 
& I'm a long
from where I was
where I need to be
& if there is a light 
we can't always see
if there is a world
we can't always be
if there is a 

from your mouth
& there is a light
don't let it go out"
from the aptly titled: "Song for Someone" by U2
I want it to be just about reaching out to someone who no longer wants to live here. Meaning the planet. I'm not sure now, though. As I listen to it more... Which means it's classic U2.
[btw, I really like the new disc, Songs of Innocence. Reminds me of the early stuff. Boy, October, & War... without being those tunes with different lyrics. I also hear a bit of a "punk vibe" in this, that I haven't heard for a while from them. And am thankful for.]

Obviously, you can pray for me on this. That it goes the way it should. That we give it the proper amount of time. That wisdom prevails. See, the friend is close to someone who has meantioned wanting to kill themselves. Which is why I'm nervous. Why I want to help. It would be nice to play a small role in making sure someone doesn't end their story...before it's meant to be over. Every person counts.
I am typing this as I listen to Person of Interest. 
Reminding me of two lines: "Everyone is relevant to someone, Mrs. Groves." 
& "That's the thing about the world... it doen't come with extra pieces." both spoken by Harold Finch.

So I think, for now, I'll sign off with some words from To Write Love On Her Arms...
Your story is important.

People matter... everything else can be arranged. [or lived without]

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I wanted to paint out of love, kindness, hope

Tonight I went out on a limb. I decided to paint. Which I've done my house. I have never considered myself a painter. At all. I like to look at other people's paintings, & "wish I could do that". That's me. Infused Arts @ LWCC, is an artists community, at my church. I decided [after saying I was gonna for about 2 yrs]  to go. So I went in July [for photography]. This month I wasn't sure of.
However, as these photos prove, I went. I really wasn't prepared for my evening. It was fun....


 I like the way light plays off the paint...

It was a real internal struggle for me, though. I guess I want everyone around me to think that I'm smart enough to know what I really am not good at. Smart enough to not go & do what I can't do well. Thing is... how am I supposed to know if I'm good at it if I never actually try doing it? Further, I can't expect myself to be a professional "world class" or "world famous" anything without trying it. Practicing it. Honing my skills at it. Wait... I should say that I "shouldn't expect that".... The problem is, that's EXACTLY what I expect. From myself. I only expect perfection. Well... from myself. YOU? I got all the grace in the WORLD for you. Just.... not for me.  ...why is that? Beats me. All I know is THAT is something I might just be "The World's Best" at.
After that paragraph, you can imagine how my night started. I began confident... which lasted about 9 nano seconds... & promptly fell off a cliff. Internally: "Why did you think you could do this? This. looks. dumb. Seriously, what ARE you doing? This, is garbage. ..." And on & on it went for a bit. I seriously had to force myself to stay. To keep trying. Is it a masterpiece? I don't know.... I don't care, really. That wasn't the point. The point was to step... into something a bit scary. Something out of the ordinary for me. As I pushed through the negative thoughts racing into my mind, I did what I usually do. I encouraged others. I enjoyed their paintings taking shape. I began to realize that I was one of many who really weren't sure they were "cut out for this". We encouraged each other. As I just kept playing around, dabbling in this paint & that one. I began to force other thoughts. "I like that color.... Mick would like that color.... What if I try this? nope, not liking that. Ok. How about this? -ooooh, I like what she's doing there. Can I make my own version of that happen in my painting?"
Turns out..... the answer was yes. Then one woman came up to me & said: "I like that. I like the hands upraised above the heart. Did you try that? Do you see what I'm talking about?" At first, no. Then...yeah, I do. No, it wasn't planned. Had a great conversation with another gal about how helpful art can be. How therapeutic it can be.
honestly, tonight.... with these people.... was therapy, in the most unusual way.
I really enjoyed this. Especially when I stood up to the inner struggle against myself.

The heart, in the corner, I sign notes to my wife & my Mother with that. I sometimes put it on an envelope as the "postage" on a card I give them. I wanted to paint out of love, kindness, hope..... it never occurred to me that I might be struggling to give myself hope.
It was worth the struggle.

I painted that. I painted the heart with my finger.

May you feel loved.
and may His grace,
drip from your fingers,

Please... don't go [a poem]

Please... don't go

it can be hard
to stay here
when all you see
is broken
when it all seems
like it's your fault
like everything you touch...
just goes away
when you feel
like your dreams
thumbed a ride
and all you can do
is watch the tail lights dissapear
And all you wanna do
is "go with"
as tempting as it can be
to end your story
please stay here
we need you
your the only you
we'll ever get
No one else can do that job
but you
We need you
we want you
if you don't
life is a gift
please share yours
with us
b.e. noll

"...& be.....
be yourself.
There's no one,
who does it
like you
& be.....
no one else
cause if you don't
then who is going to?
your a tribute to the best of us..."
from "Be" by Kevin Max

more fragments [or what a fractal would look like if it were made with a typewriter]

No One Else Can Play Your Part I just liked this.
Sorry the individual song on my last post has been taken down. [I'm more sorry that it wasn't legally put up. Feel like I should apologize to U2 & UMG, however, I didn't put it up] You can still listen to the album on iTunes, it's still free. Though, I plan on getting a physical copy. I can't say I support a band when I didn't buy their disc. [My Mom thinks it's cool that she has a U2 disc in her iTunes library. I'm probably the only "kid" -I am 43- who's Mom not only prays for his friends...she prays for the bands that move me. At least the ones I tell her about all the time.]
Been wearing my TWLOHA T's this week. Tomorrow will probably be "brown's turn" [if not it'll be: "La Vie Est Belle" which, in English, means "Life Is Beautiful". My Limited Ed. Sevenly & TWLOHA shirt
I'm not sure why, I seem to be attracted to "interesting" movies lately. 
This looks good: YOUR NOT YOU. Heart breaking moment: when the caretaker says "You wanna die, & you know I won't let you." ouch.
Sobering conversation tonight with a friend. He shared that his Mom committed suicide...& his son has talked about it. We've agreed to talk about suicide at some point. Then he said something I... couldn't think of a response to. "Glad you're still here, B." ...what, exactly, do you say to that?
He knows that I came pretty close to it.... [seems like someone I knew, a lifetime ago]

"...there is a light, don't let it go out..." by U2 from: Song for Someone, from the album: Songs of Innocence.

"There is no end to LOVE."
- BONO [from: Bono's note, on U2's website: "Remember us?"]
[not that he's ever gonna be bored enough to read this]
Dear Bono,[Edge, Adam, & Larry]
Remember you... I'll never forget you. Though you don't know me from Adam & Eve's house cat, your songs are: nostalgic, comforting, give me permission to cry [& help me do so], give me permission to scream.... many are like old friends. We have secret stories. They are encouragement letters set to music. Post-it notes to keep me going.

Thanks, take good care of yourselves.
No one else can play your part.
Thanks, for playing your part.

I need to go for now. Get some sleep, so I can try my had at painting "Jackson Pollock style" tomorrow. I know... push your luck much? ALL the time. But, hey...I AM good at it, no?

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You matter, no matter what

I have so many thoughts in my head.
I should be sleeping.
and I can't keep my head still.
Still... I think & try to find
a way to settle this
ever plaguing thought process
swirling in my head
I should be asleep
I'm going to wear my TWLOHA shirt
[well, one of them, anyway]
-wait, today. it's after midnight.
Welcome to today
welcome to
your life
right now.
already running
spinning in or out of
I get to drive today.
I can't wait.
though, it would have been nice to listen to the new U2
on my drive.
Anyway, as you can see I'm not really doing anything,
just playing.
So for tonight...
i'm gonna sign off with some small random quotes & links
if your iTunes works [mine doesn't] you can go to iTunes & get the new disc by U2, for free.
if yours isn't working either. Here, you can listen to it. U2 - SONGS OF INNOCENCE
I feel like, in light of today being World Suicide Prevention Day, this feels like a theme song for today: U2 - Song For Someone
ok, now for rAnDoM things of moderate interest.....
Great words from TWLOHA
Welcome to midnight. Glad your here. To new beginnings [& greater chapters]

This came to me last night…

Perhaps we are all like nuts.
The “meat” on the inside is the real us…
The shell to be discarded is who we wish we were…
To the wrong person, you'll never have any worth. To the right person, you mean everything. from God's not dead.  
"We all need people to fall apart with."  
Repost of the poem Unique [on Tumblr]

Remember that you more people than you think.

May his grace drip from your fingers,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

a poem

who you aren't
are not what you drive
are not
where you live
you are not
how good you could look in a digitally altered photo
you are not
what you do "for a living"
you are not
what you wear
you are not
what you eat
you are not
any disease you have
or might get one day
you are not
simply "what your gifted at"
you are not
who you hang out with
you are not
your favorite color
or song
or movie
you are not
the library of
or music
that you own

are not
a mistake
are not
an accident
are not
your story
You are not
an object

than any of these lesser things

by b.e. noll

Monday, September 1, 2014

TWLOHA: No one else can play your part #nooneelse14

To Write Love On Her Arms is asking this question for Suicide awareness week Sept. 8th - 14th [day: 10th]. So I thought I'd put some thoughts down....

I see faces in my mind who would have no problem writing this for me. The answer seems so loud to them. I sit here & stare, dumbly, at them.  The first thing that comes to mind is a sarcastic answer. "...because who would WANT to?" "...because no one else is THIS strange."
I'd like to grab the first one....
Who would want to play my part?
See, if you play my part....who will play yours? If you play my part & I don't.... then the world looses two people. You can't be me, AND your not being you. You might be able to be me long enough to film a movie, but that's it. So be yourself. You won't know how valuable it is till we get to see it for ourselves. We probably need it more than either of us knows.
Which is probably true of me, also.
I cannot tell you how many times I've head people say: "you see things so differently than anyone else I know."
Yeah, it's not as fun as the brochure says it is. Sometimes it sucks to be unique.
No one can play my part because...
well, for starters, no one would turn this question into a blog post [except me]. Because no one jokes like I do. Because no one can be really "stream-of-consciousness" funny like me, one minute... then be able to talk/ listen to others talk about really dark stuff & just listen. Trying to understand, help, just be there & tell them they still matter. Ask later on how they are. Do they still know that they are loved. That they matter. That I'm glad they are still alive.
So...I ask you who read this to sit & come up with the answer as well.
Tell someone why: "No one can play your part".
It's true, even if you can't believe it.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Only The Tears Are Different

I've been trying to figure out what to say about Robin Williams.... Those of you who have been with me when I would joke around, know I really liked Robin. I will always like him. He made me till my stomach hurts & tears are tracing their way down my cheeks.
What's more he made me feel like I'm not alone. I could point to him & say "well... He's worse than me. He makes you laugh more often, sooner, & harder than I do." ...which means it must be ok on SOME level for me to do it, too.
I wish I could have made him laugh. I wish, basically, that I could have tried to return the favor. I still laugh, just as hard. ...only the tears are different......

Just hearing his name makes me smile. I have memories of watching him be a guest on so many different shows. Watching Mork & Mindy. Seeing What Dreams May Come, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, & many others. Robin could make you laugh till your stomach hurt. But he could talk ABOUT ANYTHING & do that. [Robin Williams on golf] I could post hundreds of these. Just youtube him & I give you a minute & a half to be laughing uncontrollably. [it probably won't take half that time] I think it was Oprah Winfrey who was quoted as saying [of having Robin on your show as a guest] "You don't really have Robin Williams as a guest on your show. He has you as a guest on his."
I kept thinking this last week of the little lines....
Good Morning Vietnam: [to Forrest Wittaker] "you know, if the engines running, it's already started."
Dead Poets Society: "why am I standing on my desk?" a student: "to feel taller?" [rings one of those "ring bell for service" bells] "No, [ring] Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton."
about a prank the kids played on the dean of the school:
"God calling...that was good. but it wasn't daring. Now if God had called collect, THAT would have been daring."
Good Will Hunting: Will: [hugging his therapist] "does this violate the dr. patient code?"
"Only if you grab my a"
He made me enjoy living. He made fun of everyone, himself included. Even when things go wrong, he could run with it. I still see that moment when, in the middle of an interview [on the tonight show with Leno], the lights went out. Total darkness. No one spoke, not even Robin. when Robin didn't was ok, he was just reloading. [or changing topic, hard to tell really] Then a spot light came on above the desk between them. Robin, ever the improv master, stands up begins removing his blazer, steps up onto the chair & then onto the desk: "their coming for me Jay, I'm going home now, I won't forget you, strange little people..." [ok, honestly, the only line I remember him actually saying is "their coming for me Jay"]

...not sure what else there is for me to say...
I really liked What Jamie Tworkowski said: In Paste Magazine here [Don't mistake the man for the moment]
And really appreciated what Sophia Bush said on Instagram: [re-posted on TWLOHA here]
And Billy Crystal: from the emmy's

Only The Tears Are Different
I never knew
how similar we were
till you left
I think of you & smile
Can't imagine it
any other way
You made me laugh
till I cried
I always had to watch you twice
to laugh at the jokes
I was laughing during
the first time
I never wondered
how you "did it"
I was just so glad
for the blessing
the gift
of being able to enjoy
what you have brought to so many
I guess you never knew
how important
your part really was
like many
I echo
the wish that I could have helped
can be helped
as a tribute
to how you helped us
You will always make me laugh
I'll always be glad you can
I'm sad we won't get any new
skits/ impromptu's
from you
I'll hold onto
all the ones we have
they'll always make me laugh...
yet, right now....
the tears are for a different reason

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

a funeral yesterday, & some random thoughts....

Yesterday was Mick's Grandmother's funeral. She was 97. For a matter of days. I had to work...interrupted. Interrupted by this funeral. Talk about irony. Death really IS an interruption of life. So annoying. For you trek fans this is a well known fact...well, part of it. In Star Trek: The Next Generation tv show, The Klingons were famous for saying, before a battle they might not survive: "Today is a good day to die". 
Ironically, it is never a good day to loose someone. Not only did we have the funeral, I was asked to read a poem during the service. Me. The guy who likes to sit back & listen to others talk. The guy who hates ["with the white-hot intensity of a 1,000 suns"] to be the "center of attention".  THIS is gonna be good. honestly, Mick kept saying things like: "I'll do it FOR you, if you want." "I'll go up with you. Would that be better?"
"No. I'll do this. I feel like I should do this. Some strange part of me wants to."
I nixed 1 word. NO ONE cared.
...and I realized why we ask someone else to do things like this. As I read it I could hear my Mom reading it. In that moment I realized that, were this my own mother's funeral, I wouldn't stand a chance of reading it the whole way without loosing it. Partly just because I could hear her rhythm of her reading it out loud. I only almost lost it when I reached her Dad, my father-in-law, & he said to me: "Thanks Brian, that was beautiful. You did it so well. I really appreciate it."
It also made the nervousness worth it. After the day, which was not as stressful as I thought it was going to be, thanks to prayers & VERY helpful co-workers. I posted this on facebook:

"Thanks all. It's nice to have the prayers of many "hugging your soul" though a day."

I was wrung out today. So I didn't do a whole lot of "important stuff". I watched a Veronica Mars marathon, had ice cream, made egg sandwiches for lunch, & pizza for supper. NOT a banner day, here. Yet feeling better. 
I have thought of writing on death for quite a while. So I thought maybe tonight would be good. So here goes...

While I have spent way more time thinking of what a waste my life was, to have existed at all. I have for the past 4 years [roughly] been past that. With yesterday fresh in my mind. I liked that several people didn't wear black, yesterday. My Mother-in-law wore red, Grandma's favorite color. I rebelled myself. I wore the dark blue suit. Looking [& feeling] very much like a shorter version of Mr. Reese from Person of Interest. I wore 2 things that were, "me". My survival cord bracelet thing. And my classic Mickey Mouse tie. My cousin Bradley looked, saw it, & gave me a smile & a thumbs up. 
I'm the guy who makes people laugh when they think that maybe they shouldn't. Yet they would like to to lighten the mood. Not that I can't cry. Not that I can't be sad. Maybe it's my way of embracing To Write Love On Her Arms' theme of HEAVY & LIGHT. I don't know.
I've thought about the fact that people say: "I'm sorry for your loss." or "You lost someone." I didn't loose them. I know EXACTLY where they are.... I just don't know how to get there, & I'm not allowed to go, yet. 
One day "I will go to [them], but [they] will not return to me.” - 2 Samuel 12:23
As for when I die... To borrow from The Fellowship of The Ring: "I suspect I shall not return, in fact, I mean not to."
I often say to them, [among other things] when death is near: "I will see you soon...sooner for you than for me, I'm afraid."
As always I think of songs.
When my Dad's Mom died, I really connected with U2's Where the Streets Have No Name This version, from Rattle & Hum, is for Mick.... especially the end "...oh, darlin'....oh now darlin', I wanna go there with you, yeah..." 
Yesterday I thought of 2 songs by Gungor. When Death Dies & This Is Not The End
I thought of my own death yesterday. Not from an "it should happen already" standpoint. From a stand point of those I could end up leaving behind. A sort of thoughts to remember. Or perhaps a...... me helping you get over me..."thing". [told you I'm "different"] 
Songs I think of....
Paul McCartney - The End of The End  Don't know if I agree with all of the lyrics here, yet I do really connect with some of them loudly. " the end of the end, I'd like jokes to be told, & stories of old, to be rolled out like carpets, that children have played on & laid on while listening to stories of old ...I'd like bells to be rung, & songs that were sung, to be hung out like blankets, that lovers have played on & laid on, while listening to songs that were sung"
The Choir - To Bid Farwell 
"And if this were farewell, friend
Would you hear one final

Sad sigh
For the songs I never would sing
If I were to bid farewell my friend today
A glad song
As the bells beyond the night ring

And though I walked beneath the moon
The sun was in my eyes
So this is not a sorry tune
But heaven help me

A sad sigh
For the words I never would say
If I were to bid farewell the world today
A glad sigh
For the promise of a new day
If I were to bid farewell and fly away
A sad sigh
For the songs I never could sing
If I were to bid farewell to you today
A glad song
As the bells beyond the night ring
If I were to bid farewell and fade away...."

One last song. I thought of this a long time ago. When one of my cousins died very young [17 yrs old]. Then it was to her little sister, yesterday, I thought of my nieces....
The Choir - Wide-eyed Wonder  
I don't mind tears. I'm not ashamed of them or scared. All I would ask on that day, is that you don't stop there. Live. Keep living. Today I thought of one of TWLOHA's shirts. The one that reads: "Wake up, you're ALIVE. We're on your side." 
Don't just keep living, though. MEAN IT. Do it for real. If you outlive me. You can wear black...or... you could wear green or red. I enjoy Christmas colors. Because once I die, I will forever after be "green". ...and red will be the reason. You can wear orange, or blue, or yellow, or purple, or brown. All colors you find in nature. Which I love to be in. This part might be unsettling... I would rather be cremated, & have my ashes scattered into a stream in a park. If you are going to come & visit where my body "rests" [the "shell" this "ghost" is in], I'd like it to be somewhere peaceful , tranquil. If you want to gather things. If facebook still exists, if Twitter still exists, post songs & photos there. As you all know I enjoy both. 

If we hung out. if we had stories, funny & sad to uncontrollable tears. I have loved & enjoyed you. If we were related, I enjoyed growing up with you. I have loved & enjoyed you in my life. Do not forget that. Do not regret that. Some SO worth it. It means you have loved & been loved. It. is. good. even though it hurts. Do not hate yourself. Let someone else with no imagination do that FOR you. YOU ARE WAY TO IMPORTANT FOR THAT CRAP. Let it fall to the floor. To be vacuumed away. No matter what, you matter. remember that. Write it down till your pen dries up, you run out of paper, your hand cramps up. Really bad. Don't let what someone does to you, tell you that you have no value. You have value. You ALWAYS had value. [you. always. will.] 
Remember.... we will out live death. We will stand over the tombstones of sin & death & time.....&. we. will. dance. On THAT day...we will not cry, for every tear will have been wiped away. Remember...
are loved.

I'm not dying, or terminal [at least that I know of.] So don't panic. Just some thoughts I've been wanting to share. Now... if you don't mind, I'm going to end this wild ride on a positive, life affirming note. With some different posts. [most of which are thanks to To Write Love On Her Arms. I can't believe the movie will come out March 2015! I WILL see it]
Today Means Amen 
Shake the dust
Anna Clendening: Nervous Singer Delivers Stunning "Hallelujah" Cover - America's Got Talent 2014

May His grace drip from your fingers,


Sunday, July 13, 2014

flowers @ our house

These all grow along the front of our house. We did black & white photos this week @ the studio. So I took some of the flowers. The top 5 photos are from the same amazing plant. One stem produces about 10 - 12 flowers on it. They bloom slowly from bottom to top, & just amaze me. The stem looks at first like any of it's leaves. Then it buds, in a pattern still keeping the outside shape of the other leaves. Then it blooms as you can see. And, in person, they are the deepest shade of purple you have ever seen. Mick LOVES them. I love to see her face when she first sees them blooming. She loves flowers. I tell her that she's MY favorite flower.
I'll post some other black & whites later on....

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Sunday, July 6, 2014

some photos, a poem, & other random words

ok, I was sitting there this morning as I listened to the talk unfold...and for some reason this came out of me:
half of me 
has been trying to kill 
the other half of me
because all of me
can barely understand 
any of me.

Not a very kind sort of thing to post, I know. Yet... it is so very true. Not true over the past few years, mind you. [roughly 4 yrs. Don't ask how I arrived at that number. It's just this..."gut thing" to me.] I'm not sure where I'm going with this post. So welcome to a journey of surprise for us both. 
I needed to hear the talk today. And I needed the irony of the film my wife & I watched afterward [The Fault in Our Stars] The talk today was: WRESTLING with the love of God. Learning to know that God loves us...exactly as we are, where we are. Something I have spoken to Him about many, many times. Mainly how He can love someone who can't always stand themselves. The movie spoke similarly to this. One of the final lines was this: "They wanted to be remembered long after they died... I believe it is better to be remembered & loved deeply, by a few, than to be adored by many."
My life doesn't fit into a cute Disney movie that ends with me riding off into the sunset. Truthfully, most really good, gut wrenching stories.......don't. I still struggle. I may be done with therapy, yet I am not done with struggle, or messiness. [it would be SO VERY NICE if that was the way it isn't] I'm glad I had a 3 day weekend. To slowly bring me back to a healthier place again. Which started with a photography opportunity on Thurs night. That was fun. Don't know if my photos are "stellar" or anything, it was fun anyway. I got to "get lost" in the best way. Took a walk yesterday. Always a good thing. Haven't needed a band-aide for a few days, always a good sign. So I don't know where to leave off at... yet I need to soon get going. So I'll finish this with some photos that will appear next on this menagerie.

The sky last night.

Better to me
what happened?
why'd I get here?
do I let me
take me here?
haven't I lived here 
long enough?
didn't I have this argument already?
I cancelled my reservation
I don't want this table
I really don't want this anymore
I am valuable
I guess I need to fight harder
and more subtly
I need 
to be better to me
I know it's true
I know
it matters to you
it matters to me, too
I know I didn't travel
all this way
to just give a thumbs up 
and go back
I'm meant
-if anything-
to rest & then
I know I'm going to
no matter how much it hurts
no matter how hard it gets
no matter how steep the climb

b.e. noll

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ragamuffin, the movie & Rich Mullins [& other stuff of earth]

Blessing or curse I'm in one of "those places" where writings/thoughts/musings flood into my head faster than they come out of my fingers.
Backwards from the title up we go.
My drives were..."interesting". Yesterday I turned the box truck around so many times I could've swore it was a horse with a pole running through the middle of it. [you know, a merry-go-round] Yet all in all a good day. I got back later than my usual leaving work time [6:15 as opposed to 4:30]. No biggie. I DID get some sleep before waking up at 2:30 this morning. Left the warehouse at 4 am. Got back around 1 pm. Stayed till about 3:15, & then left to get ready for group tonight... Oh, & I was having trouble starting the truck much of the time. It finally left me set. It gave up & refused to start....thankfully when I got back & had already unloaded it. So I wasn't stranded anywhere.
I'm trying to be honest. Which means that you will see sadness, humor, happiness, joy, ...& perhaps some other stuff on here. For some of you, you might read me taking about God in ways that are strange to you. To others of you , you might feel that I'm a bit weird about life on here. Having said this... I'm trying to be good to me. I'm not trying to be my own biggest fan or anything. I'm just trying to not be the villain in my own story. [I think that happens a good bit anyway, I'm not trying to be. I never said I wasn't succeeding at it, though.] This week I've not done that so very well. Skipped supper Mon. Which, in & of itself, is a "yawner" of a fact. I just can't let it happen to many days/meals in a row. Starving myself does do something for me. What it does is not worth getting done. And tonight I had to resort to a band-aide to stop picking at a VERY old "spot" on my hand. It seems to have dried up a bit. Got rough, & with everything else going on this week...I just find myself tearing into it with a vengeance. So, it's either: cover it, or watch it bleed. I've done the bleeding thing. I think I'll pass. [or at least try to]
Tonight our Wed night group watched Ragamuffin. Which is about the life of Rich Mullins. I thought of my relationship with my Dad. I'm glad we are so close. I did good, till the end. Then I got up & spoke to the group about the film. Which is SO NOT ME. There is nothing to really back up what I'm going to share. It's just something that was soothing to me. When Rich died, for whatever reason, I came to this thought: "Jesus said he's going to prepare a place for me... Well, the one nice thing about loosing someone is... at least Jesus knows how to decorate the place He's making for me." Which is to say that people are what really matters. When I loose someone now, I think of it as they are going ahead of me so that when I get to'll feel like home. Because people I love will already be there.
Need to go for now. one more rather busy day left...with [hopefully] a "photo finish" to it.

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Monday, June 30, 2014

2 poems & some other words

 Ok... a couple of poems. I can't believe the first one came tonight. I wrote 2 emails that were so brief, the one could have been a tweet. I'm just "not ok" at the moment...& yet, as I've written tonight, I'm feeling better. So enjoy these. I may not be online much the next couple of days. Especially "socially". I have a drive that might make tomorrow a 12hr day for me. Then I'm going to try to go extremely early for my usual drive to Delaware on Wed. I honestly don't know how long Wed. will be. I'm catching a movie with the guys [my Wed night group]. Actually I'm BRINGING the movie, Ragamuffin. Then I'm going to try, really hard, to finally make this the summer I "make good" on my "threat" to go to an artists group @ LW. Thurs. night. It's going to center on photography. So I'm equal parts: excited, nervous, to try this out. 

The first poem is kind of written to 2 people. Or with 2 people in mind. Partly to myself, to just let go & allow my natural self to be. To be me, without thinking about it so much. [analyzing myself too much]. The second person is working on their next disc of music. An encouragement, not just to keep going with it. To go with it in joy. To enjoy the process of making her record. On her own terms, in her own time. And her fans, the ones to REALLY write to...they will be glad she took the time to make something she's proud of. After all, if even one of the songs goes big...she could be singing it for a very long time. She might as well like the song. [songs, disc]
I think of weird things like that with the bands/artists I like. Don't just do it for me. Enjoy doing it. as Robert Fripp rehearses for a new King Crimson tour, I'm hoping/praying that he enjoys the whole process. From rehearsals to every tour stop. I'm hoping to catch them in Philly. They're touring with three drummers this time. Should be a fun time to sit "in" music & just drink deep. That's kind of what a "Krim show" is about. I so enjoyed it last time. To me it's a Hard rock band that not-so-secretly enjoys a bit of Jazz. I would also say they are the reason Surround sound was invented. -ok, enough "leaking words endlessly onto the screen"... I gotta go. Enjoy:

Leave them alone
please let go
stop trying so hard to be
whatever THEY want
be you
let them be them
the REAL them
and focus on the REAL you
don't do it
for fame
for a label
for something they can see coming
and let them go
let them be
yet, one more thing
don't JUST be you
enjoy doing it
enjoy the process
so you don't do things the way others do
You can be a clone
or a masterpiece
masterpieces are
one of a kind
it's so much better to be one of a kind
[after all...they can't say you did it wrong...
if it's never been done this way before -right?]
it's fun to keep them guessing

I'll live
it may not always be fun
I'll live
I do not know
what my story can do
to help you
or anyone for that matter
and yeah
I am scared to death
to tell my story
to share my story
to write it
it's so ugly to stair at
some of my very FAVORITE books
are of similar stories
similar parts of stories
where the author
didn't want to share it
yet friends convinced them
that they should
that they NEEDED to
even though it was
painfully uncomfortable
for the author
it might just be
THE most important book
they would ever publish
what if
this is true
of me?
what do I do
life is harder than I thought
[more worth it than I've thought, also]

[both]  by b.e. noll

May His grace drip from your fingers,

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Well... I'm back from a small vacation. A very nice one. The photo is from last Thursday. Even though it looks like a fall one. The sun shown in such a way it made the trees look golden. It was such fun to just sit there & drink it in....

So I did take  my camera. Enjoyed taking Mick away with me. Got away as they say. It's nice to slow down & just sit still for a while. Even though that can be extremely difficult for me at times. [turns out I am my father's son]
Before I left I had some interesting moments. People talking to me about age. Mostly mine.
While I don't really care much how long my physical form has been on the planet... it is one more way I have felt very... "not normal" for a human. Or perhaps it would be better said it is another reminder that I'm not like most people. I don't feel this way as... "Mon - Sun" as I used to. There are still times, moments, conversations that bring it back to mind, though. So I'll speak of this here. From multiple angles.
First. I was, by the knowledge of that time, "scheduled to arrive" on April the 25th, 1971. For those of you who are not like my Dad, that would mean I am 43 as of right now. Again, not that it is terribly important. Due to "complications" I was not born until 5:30am the morning of the 26th.
NO... I do not "remember it well". I remember Mom telling the story countless times. [I'm not upset about that. It's just the facts] The details of that I will leave to my Mother, who never tires of telling it. I have been told for quite a long time that I appear much younger than I am. How much depends greatly on whom you ask. One friend states that I am: "forever green" "You look so young. You should tell people you are 25" Another recently said: "I had no idea. I thought you were maybe 30." [he was fun -& one to talk. I never would have guessed he was older than me. I thought HE was 30! He & his wife look MAYBE 30, if that. It's nice to tell people what I've heard most of my life]
I even had a police officer apologize to me once. He thought I had a "Cinderella license". "No disrespect, officer. How old do you THINK I am?" "16" I was around 28. I told him I would love this when I was 40. Love is a strong word.... maybe when I'm 80? Anywho.
While I'm not fond of the grey hairs that are slowly taking over. Or the fact that I no longer have an extremely thick head of hair. What I really don't like about the prospect of aging is 2 fold.
1. Having people older than me. To go to & say: "So. Is this a thing I should worry about? Or is this a 'huge thing now & totally forgotten in a week' thing?" I like being able to go to people older than me to ask things of. To ponder things with. I've spent a great deal of my life hanging out with people older than me. I'm an only child. I've been doing it for a long time, now.
2. as I talk to aging folks...there is the realization that we spend 21 years becoming independent. We really want to spend zero time going the other way. TWLOHA has ...a blog post, a shirt, even a hastag "People Need Other People". Yet... many of us are really bad at letting other people help us. I am chief among them. I really suck at letting others help me. Be there for me. Don't get me wrong. I love the slogan. I think it's true. Just... "when the time comes"..... I fail at this. Which will make me more of a pain as I get older.
Though, while I still have trust issues, I'm thankful that I have people who try to be there for me. Even though I do not make it very easy for them. [pray for them. they need it.]

May His grace drip from your fingers,