Murmurs and Antagonisms

Orthodoxy via Heresy

Category: Life

Better the Dead

I think about death a lot. Too much probably.

I think about how death relates to my existence. What it means for meaning. I think about how death is said to have no sting, no power post-Resurrected Jesus. But I wonder how true these statements of comfort are. Like the statement, “God had your birth and [God] has your death in mind. And when it’s time to die you can’t avoid it,” the sentiments seem inane.

Death has no sting, but people mourn for weeks, months, sometimes years after the fact. Death is still stabbing itself into the skin of the families and friends of the dead.

Supposedly death has no power. Usually what’s meant by this is the notion that death won’t have the final say. But who cares? It makes no sense, to my mind, to waste words on the things that we’ll never understand or be able to wrap our minds around. Especially if those ideas don’t help us live well on this all too often shitty earth.

And the whole notion that God is in control of your death? Sure, maybe in some weird, abstract way, but what’s it matter? I guess if comfort is the goal it makes sense. But to my mind materiality is all we’ve got and focusing on abstractions can be good, if they somehow impact living.

All this to say, death drive more important than life drive.

On Being a Bad Writer

I like to think I have some level of skill when it comes to writing when, in all likelihood, that thought is no more than some sort of delusional desire. Everyone thinks they write well. Or, at least, wants to hear that they write well. For myself, I finally accepted the fact that when I do write it is often an incoherent mess.

Related: I have moments where I write well but most times I write at a level close to mediocrity.

I dream of publication in a high and mighty magazine at some point in the future. But, for now at least, I maintain a blog with a lame background and full of my less than disciplined thoughts on sundry topics. And I write at a mediocre level. That’s okay, though. Mostly it’s okay because I want to get better. The problem of bettering oneself when it comes to writing is finding out what one wants to write about.

Best advice: write about what interests you. Worst advice: write about what you know.

One exercises the mind, the other limits exploration. The idea of finding a niche limits the wannabe writer more than any arbitrary rules of language can. I have no niche. Sure, this blog is filled with truncated thoughts on philosophy and theology, filled with endless poems in which I try to be the next e.e. cummings, filled to the brim with half thought out words. Always present is the demand that I find a niche, a topic, a theme, a genre, to dedicate my time to. I find this ever present demand to be the cause of weariness and too much thought. Think too much on what to write and I never write, always happens without fail. So, for now, I accept that maybe I need to simply sit down and use words to describe what’s happening within my world, as mundane and boring as that may be. And I sure as hell need to start to live within the world and not sit in but separate for the sake of art. Not that my writing is anything close to artistic.

I’m a mediocre writer. So are you, most likely. Embrace it.

 

Futures

Been thinking lately about my goals in life, where I’m gonna end up after college, grad school, and whatever other degrees I choose to pursue. I don’t have a clue what I want to do as a career. And I guess that’s okay. I do know that I don’t want to, should I end up within the mighty world of intellectuals, be another one who sits on my throne of privilege, a privilege inherent to that career. I don’t want the sacred cow of privilege and then critique it from a pathetic state of privilege in which my critique means nothing.

More pointedly: I really don’t give a damn about the American lifestyle. See, nothing about the typical, run of the mill, find a job you love, settle down and have a family idea appeals to me. It seems so inane and empty. Adventure is not what I desire. Rather, I desire to know God more deeply by living beyond what the nice American lifestyle is. Now, in fairness, some are so called and bravo to them. I happen to be restless and in want of more than being a privileged (potential) intellectual. Fundamentally, I want to die having done good for people and others in a way more meaningful than what I could do from the pulpit or lectern.

Anyways, my thoughts. Take them for what they are: rambling and empty.

oh.

tiny incisions grace full and screaming

at ever(y) word that which comes out

wrongly put. words hurting causing innocent

ones bloodshed and memory eternal of

pain and roughshod paths walked formerly

of those who knew and died knowing

pain. wisdom words spoken always without

ceasing God ward. whatever God ward speech

likes to look like. Amen

On the Privilege of Meaning

Us wise men and women in the Western world are so fond of talking about meaning. So fond of talking about the meaninglessness of life, too. But the odd thing is, these things can only be said from a position of privilege. (This isn’t to say those statements/ideas are false). From privilege, where we have the comfort to talk so wisely, we can speak words and declare the world empty and void of meaning or rich and vibrant and in waiting for meaning to be found. Either way, the difference between these thoughts and the lived life of people is this: the average, droll, day to day human being, in their absolute understanding of place, wake up and go to work and do their job. Sure, enjoyment may be lacking. But I wonder if the privilege of meaning is one which is counteracted by Christianity. Christianity seems more inclined to say, “This is where you are now live accordingly.” It’s not about searching the stars or newspaper or the Great Books for meaning. It’s, fundamentally, about living. Living provides more true meaning than superficial ideological agreement. I can look to wise men and sages all I want but at the end of the day meaning is found in living. Privilege sits above true life and makes ominous declarations. Moving past privilege is moving past the inane nature of the question of meaning in the world.

Ode to the Dead

Here’s to the dead. Not those who’ve gone before
only. But to those who stand at the door of their
own end. Here’s to the endless line that stands
forever at death’s door. Some knock, and some,

the tragic few, kick the door in, rushing through.
This is a toast to those who have crossed the
divide and torn the curtain in two. This is for
those who await the crashing. And this is for
those who were shoved through too soon.
Be at peace.

Untitled n. 4

Walk into the sunlight
watching the car

pulling into the driveway
across from you. Observe

and watch and learn
as the woman clambers

out. Breasts singing as
they go up and down

with each breath. Observe
and cross the line. In

the soul everything goes
a-flutter. Something is

happening, occurring
and stirring.

Vere Tu Es Deus Absconditus

  I am a Christian. I pray like crazy. And I grew up being told to listen in prayer. I’ve tried listening but nada. Exactly what is entailed in listening to/for God? The still, small voice? How does God speak? Through his word? Sure, but that’s its own dilemma right there. So, I prayed and tried to listen and God was silent. What now? Silence, just silence.

 -“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”-

   I use apologetics to give reasons, primarily to myself now, for my faith. Yet, God escapes me. “Jonas, you need to have heart knowledge, too!” Well, how? Like stated above the silence is frightening and overwhelming. Apologetics is all well and good till it isn’t.

 -“Pointless, because it seems to me like an attempt to put a grown-up man back into adolescence, i.e. to make him more dependent on things on which he is, in fact, no longer dependent, and thrusting him into problems that are, in fact, no longer problems to him.”-

   I accept unknowing, the lack of certainty. Or, rather, I try to. I think hard and think well, attempting to use my mind to get somewhere with the unknowing and lack of certainty. But it’s very obvious what I am doing. I’m finding certainty in the use of my mind to be uncertain. Oxymoron much?

 -“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.”-

 

Untitled n. 3

See the sky, see the pavement
wet and moist. Pleasantries exchanged
between the rain and the dirt. So
my imagining goes. Smell the birds
and smell the sounds they make.
Fresh, aren’t they? Biting in a good way.