Wednesday, December 15, 2010

there is man and there is woman and

i have come to believe that gender is a layered thing
in every child of God.

It is a load-baring block in the wall,
but it is not a kind or a label or the wall itself.

masculine notes. feminine crescendos.
these things matter,
but in a world of education for all
and unity for love equal to function,
there is a wife who leads the family in her firm choices.
there is a man who shows tenderness for the quiet sheep.
there is a woman who seeks first the counsel of her husband.
and there is a husband who has never known why he feels.

and this is not an abomination.

this is the varied faces of God lived out in a union,
in the complexity of this human experiment.

and this I believe:
one day, the fractured identity of mankind will be made perfect,

but I do not believe the current mingling is without it's timely perfection,

and I do not believe that redemption will produce
a cold man who leads and makes no mistakes
and a sweet woman who quietly waits for instruction.

our Lord is not so boring. and not so poor an author.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God bless us

to the exclusion of lesser borders,
we have been given favor
because our Constitution was formed in His truth,
He gave unto us a ripe and virgin land
barely spoiled by the animal-men here before,
a stain easily under-rug swept to make way for providence.

"A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot - except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart. The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite - the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter - forgive these injuries how many times? Seventy times seven - another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity. Well - Patriotism has its laws. And it is also a perfectly definite one; there are not vagueness's about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. Word it as softly as you please; the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line, or a hamper of fish, or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear it split the universe with its war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish is just in man's line, it comes natural to him - he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him.

The prayers concealed in what I have been saying is, not that patriotism should cease, and not that the talk about universal brotherhood should cease, but that the incongrous firm be dissolved and each limb of it be required to transact business by itself, for the future."

-Mark Twain's Notebook

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a spider web is stronger than a stone

these few things
they are related one to another:

pornography is an abuse of intimacy through removed observation.
defiling the sacred through exaggeration and inflation.
and from it, comes mutant expectation and fantasy.
what then, is the Notebook? Atonement? Love Actually? Titanic?

We, all of us, want to feel valued and loved
not for what we do, but for who we are.
But such a 'who' is elusive, because of course,
we are what we do.
I have never loved a stone for who it is.

modern masculinity is vacuous.
it highlights the strength and not the character.
and from it comes a kind of death.
it teaches the man to compete, rise, tower,
isolate and dominate,
all the while his right-man self is weighing the cost
in the shadow of silence
in the shadow of almighty humor
and the razor lies of comparison
and for it, a man's self is retarded as without water in the sun
until it is first uncovered by a girl.

but oh, oh, to uncover yourself
commingled with the drunkenness
of a woman.
the chemistry, attraction, and desire for a woman
is like a shaky mirror held before you
on a roller coaster freefall. you see something of yourself,
but for the gasping collapse of lungs
you may mistake that shaky falling face
for your true self. because apart from her eyes locked to yours, and asking you pointed questions for the first time, you've never been considered. studied. and so studied yourself.
she asks so that she might understand and own.
a brother asks so that he might delight and share.
that quoted, 'you too?! I thought I was the only one.'
this is why male friendship is a cornerstone
of the man complete.
and the liberation of a man to love his wife completely.

unrequited love is beautiful
because the pain makes you feel important, betrayed by the order of things,
and the love remains unsung eternal. and therefore perfect. unburdened by the decay
of infatuation.

remove desire, and we die.
this is why contentment is not true peace. it is death.
be content to sip your coffee and read a book for a weekend.
and a day, no, a week will pass, and you will kill the moth
in the window just to watch it die.
this is why old age so often becomes sadness:
when we become irrelevant, no longer depended on,
when our life is reflection not ignition, we can feel the wicking death
creep up our pant leg.
and why heaven must be something different than we think.

If the sin of Adam bestowed death unto the world,
and before the leopard lay with the lamb,
then why does the spider have venom,
why does the lion have claws and the eagle talons,
why would the Maker sew a shark for peace when it was so
meticulously pieced for death,
why is the decay of canyons the mark of their beauty?
perhaps his gift was the death of man alone.

and if heaven is eternal life in heavenly body,
it must carry with it some disappointment.
because eternal youth for the saved
would rob me of my memory of my grandmother,
her perfect crooked hands and white hair, the softness
of her face is only as it can be with the badges of time,
i do not know Betty Jo at 20 years old.
and the vivacity of youth and quick movements are not what I miss,
the slow simple gentle hands, those I miss.
but even so, how selfish of me.

a man has in him two possible foundations:
'I am worthy.'
'I am unworthy.'
and these two things will dominate his social posture.
they will fuel him in the thrusting of a new exchange.
when he is in a room of people, he will feel either
'I am energized to explore these new people and they are energized to explore me'
or he will feel
'I am a vacuum of non-contribution, and everyone else is aware of this.'
and the one cannot understand the other.

Music is science

In science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find the poem itself. - CSL

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I wrote this to a friend, or something like it

every wooden man
has a galley full of slaves
rowing to the shores of their
future freedom
but not before their present bondage.

and here I spill out the sides

from the wicked man's perch
he hears
the negro spirituals condemning
him with their guttural harmony
flavored by the gasp of a woman
dead in child birth.

I am a wooden man
looking at Canaan on the horizon
propelled by my shackled brothers
and hatred of my port and bow
but a believer in their freedom
the death of my way of living
and the resurrection of other dead.