Peace at our earth's end

Prophetic things need be written, when by the spirit of truth they abound in our souls, thrusting us to action. For when a soul is near its climax, whilst embattled to and in the body, the upcoming basking in glorious Truth extends itself in such a way so the soul can't help but shriek with anticipation. Nearing the end, and the narrow gate of which we've navigated toward, refection becomes commonplace and only the most intimate of friends sense the sudden worldly-peace; the now-defined plunge into eternity.

In tune to my God and our Lord's will, a soul slowly recognizes not only the simplicities over-looked, but the very will - and end - of the worldly struggle. Life is but a tarnished mirror; few scratch into the reflective nature, revealing truth, and even more struggle without illumination to enter room of our beloved.

For now until eternity, whichever comes first, we believe ourselves chained to reflecting on the prospective past. For nothing is more unjust than assuming to one's worry of things un-kept, or unfinished. The praise of our own Lord in sacrificing himself frees us from our human bondage - what a impenetrable grace! Words, mere human inventions, do no justice to the Infinity that is our God in every sense. By His very lowering of Divinity to reach our define-ity, we are saved. All the most-masterful works of art, and use of our most-beloved creations do nothing to reflect this wondrous blessing.

So, at a time when a soul must encroach into a world wherein there is ultimate justice; a world unfit for even the most-saintly of humans, what more can be done than to assume the role of a slave, and beg for mercy-unceasing.


Rants to my mom

Last night, you may or may not have seen my sorrow-laden rambles on the Facebook in response to another silent (yet roaring) cataclysm to the status of fundamental freedom in these divided-United States of America.

If you didn't, here they are, following the news of President Barack Obama's re-election:

We're all excited, now. But why? Is it because we've elected a great reformer? Or, an accomplished fellow who represents the good in what has made this country great? Or, a (sic) someone who is set to further the embrace of concrete relativism?


Like most days, today I joined a cluster of supporters of life to pray this early afternoon in support of the lives of innocents, whose are ended without a fighting chance. And like other days I grieved over the reality that those condoning the supporters of such grave injustice are my friends. There has to be a way to convey that some issues carry more weight than others, and even precede all other issues. There has to be a way.

Last night, for whatever reason, something broke in me. And although my passion for standing for the innocents has increased, a true thud to the reality of ignorance in this country - and world - hit home. And hard.

Tonight, as I drove home I got on my hypothetical soap box again, on the phone with the one who cares most for me; the one who decided I was worth letting live after I was miraculously created. My mother in all her qualities has the patience of, well, my mother. No one in the history of this world has more patience, I will contend. She even has enough to listen to me at least once per week during this election cycle, rant upon the issues at the fundamental core to all the problems in this country. A bold statement indeed, to which I don't attach a puny 'I believe' - a caricature of assumption rather than true adherence to one's acknowledgment of real belief.

My declaration tonight started with my aggravation at the lack of persistent desire for good in this country. And, true good. Along with my confusion for how people I call friends, and even family-members can live without having an anxious step to do something.

"If you can't get a job then go out and volunteer somewhere!" I said. In my spirited and mostly-aggravated assault on my ear piece - and my mom's eardrum - I cease to be as charitable as would be ideal. But, come on!

I couldn't fight it long though as I changed paths. The conversation turned to the election, and the sheer assault on religious freedom and adherence of supporters of this president in their blatant disregard of this right. I asked my mom: "why did people first start coming in communities across the Atlantic?" She paused and I answered: "It was for religious freedom, away from the oppressive corruption-laden governments of Europe and Great Britain, who didn't allow free practice of religion." They came to the 'new world' we'll call it - though i hate that nomer - so they could worship as they desired. Then I asked, "what's the first line of the first amendment to the constitution say?"

It says : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The most fundamental element to the freedom of our government is the allowance for free exercise of our religion. The reason the first groups of people came to the U.S. was for this right. And so therefore, those writing up the Constitution must have thought it pretty important to make it so declaring at the beginning.

How is it today, when the President of the United States, proclaiming to adhere to the Constitution can so blatantly deny this fundamental right? If you're not paying attention, you should be. Because, while you were sleeping or falling in love with his charism or the obsession to his wife's fashion sense, the man is trampling on the very right(s) this country was founded upon. The HHS mandate will go into effect next year, and when it does it will require Catholic institutions to provide contraception, and even calls for allowance of more money to fund abortions. A clear dissent from the teachings of the faith - and Truth itself - and a clear slap in the face to freedom of religion, and the founding fathers for that matter.

What really gets me going, I told her, is that there are christians everywhere who support contraception and even worse, abortion, and in so-doing support this president's assault on their fellow believers they claim as brothers and sisters in Christ. It's unreal the ignorance and blatant disregard for structure, morality, and justice - all of which were what made this country so great - and, so free.

Needing to blog more

Recently, I took over a former obligation, making it again a current obligation. So, you could say a lot hasn't changed, but it has at the same time. As many of you know, I sell cars, lease cars, clean cars, and do about all you can imagine with cars, save for fixing cars. In order to streamline business, and give me more purchasing requests, i.e. more money - I was given back the throne of 'lease master' and told to be on my way. While this all sounds vague and ambiguous, I have been basically entrusted to respond to potential customers, answer their questions, and equip them with all the necessary knowledge they would need in order to lease a car with MATS. And then sell it to them. During this process I get a chance to write hundreds of emails with thousands of characters each, many similar, but no two the same. You're now thinking; what does this have to do with anything? Well, in fact it has a lot do with with my writing this ramble. It gives me a chance to write, albeit about logistics and compact sedan models, or even the occasional suggestion to pick up in Winston-Salem, rather than Morganton, N.C. And write, I do. Therefore, i feel the call to do it again. And do it, I shall.




"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St. Catherine of Siena

Homeboy Industries, started by Fr. Gregory Boyle in 1988 is an outreach, service-centered non-profit, set up to help gang members get their life on track. Homeboy, now alongside Homegirl Cafe which serves the Homeboy signature baked goods, assists in legal counsel, education (GED classes), career placement, tatto removal, and jobs. Boyle's mission, and the history of Homeboy has been outlined in his New York Times best-selling book "Tattoos on the Heart".

I had heard about Homeboy and Fr. 'G', as the 'homies' call him throughout his book, and in real life, but it wasn't until the kiddos at Camino Nuevo High school were approved, and assigned to read 'Tattoos', that i discovered how much of a fan I am.

There are missions that work, and those that don't. The common theme amongst those that do NOT is they fail at embracing what they do well, and end up taking on a 'greater' mission to do more than they can take on. This is only natural, as altruistic people and groups tend to want to give and give and give, without reasonable expectations of capacities. Homeboy started small, and grew naturally through - what I believe to be - the Holy Spirit, which is so evident at the facility, and in its growth. If you haven't clicked on the Homeboy link, you should and take note, no matter your convictions, or beliefs. The place simply works, albeit a bit of chaos and many struggles along the way. Helping hundreds of gang members get their life on track, is becoming more and more natural for Homeboy, as several have gone off to college, graduated, and started families; leaving the streets and gang-life behind. Truly amazing.

The reason I am so taken by Homeboy, Fr. G and the homies, is that Fr. Boyle has embraced God's will, alongside his own vision to do exactly what he was 'meant' to do; setting the world on fire in the process. We should seek the same in our lives, and never underestimate the power of compassion for those who we fear, or assume wouldn't help us in return.


a quick, rediscovered passion

Today, while at the second of my two jobs, 5th of my 7 activities (volunteer, or otherwise) I discovered I had not really dug into Shakespeare, for a long time. And when I did, it was similar to the process before plunging in a cold pool; toes outstretched to unsuccessfully gauge the temperature, before shuttering at the acknowledgment and uncertainty before ultimately hesitating...and then the final leap.

Once in, and treading the words and over-complicated sentences began to establish familiarity. As I talked through one line, then a second...and then an entire passage, I began to realize that I couldn't only do it, and well, but I enjoyed it!

The Tragedy of Othello, the second of Shakespeare's legendary tragedies is the avenue for this newfound, or perhaps; rediscovery into the words of the 17th century master. I've constantly discovered that truth is often found through narrative, rather than by hypothetical discussion or consideration. For years I've bought Shakespeare's work in paperback, commentaries about the plays, and generally held it in high esteem, even from my love of the movie "Renaissance Man," which I watched a lot as a kid.

So, I guess I love Shakespeare and always have. Heck, I even visited his birthplace, where he lived in London, the Globe and his grave in Stratford-upon-Avon, during my time in England. Therefore, it makes sense I should discover, or rediscover a love in the halls of a high school, where I have come to pursue that which I should have long ago.

After all, "to thine own self be true..."


Garbage on full display without the canister


The last few weeks have been a gem to behold, as I've been driven out of slumber and into a state where now all i really want to do is write. And although much of the penmanship fashioned with keystrokes has been in direct contrast to true creativity, I have been writing. Not purported to reason or justice, just simply things to behold - enough to keep someone insane, sane; at least for the time being.

Tonight was a cornerstone, not only in my perpetual - and I'm almost sure - eternal lonliness, but in my recognition of the things that make a Woody Allen film great. Without reservation Mr. Allen for years has not made movies for the likes of Hollywood junkies, or teenage adrenaline 7-11 slurpy junkies. No. He has made movies he has wanted to make. And you can't fault anyone more than everyone else in Hollywood who doesn't do the same thing. I for years have wanted to watch only what I want to watch, and why should a creator be any different? With the amassed collection of revenue generating filth being poured out onto Hollywood Blvd, at least someone has the audacity to stand on his own two feet to not only write, but direct several films that he's wanted to make.

His most recent film, and the one which has inspired me to jot down this blabbering mess of text, To Rome with Love was just that; a love letter to the beautiful city. Recently I took part, alone as always, to watch the documentary on Woody Allen, his quirks, his other talents - which includes playing a jazz clarinet - and a cinescope of all his work, which until recently I hadn't put in order. Therein was mentioned tha much of Mr. Allen's talent had been spent in the only city he knew - the only city that really mattered to him - the only city that truly beckons those with creative-neurotic minds, yet spits them out into New Jersey before even getting through the Lincoln Tunnel. New York, is where all of Allen's best films take place, yet as he has entered the twilight of probably his life and career - both of which go hand in hand, I'm sure - he is reaching out to cities like Paris (2011) and Rome, in his most recent film, to bid them adeu in the spirit of his filmaking style. Contingent on quirky perceptions of the cities - to which I've always identified - and unabashed, yet attractive, insecure main characters, 'Midnight in Paris' and 'Rome' have both created what Allen has always wanted to create - a film, for those who adore his style and wit, but most importantly for himself.

Three things appeared to be in the crowd of themes so representative of Mr. Allen, and the films I've grown up with and into; first, his tired jokes keep rolling yet give rise to the beginning of the end. 

Second; perhaps love is best served on screen, or on a stage through the passions, characters and scharades of the human narrative - backdrop set in some of the most beautiful places this world offers. 

And third; bums are always in conflict.

Hopefully more later - I have to get up early to give rides to some of the slurpy slurpers, otherwise known as high school students. I was never one.



Painful the day you find nothing to fill your time; no drinking or inhumane, to fill your time - save the pain. Given the days of peace, the longings are gone when they no longer confine us to beds, built late nights after meaningless work, and shielded by reruns instead of appreciation. Fou (under my mind)

Chainlink. It's cold, and I'm warm and you're dead in your mind. Dumb, more likely. But I'm stuck and smitten.

Texas is bald. The nights of driving late through New Mexico ignoring the stars to reach a lover-unnapreciative are over. This is the piece we realize that the pretension of others is worthless, and in order to live in peace as we are to be, giving up their cyber-concerns isn't as hard as it seems to be. 

Just realize that peace in the unjust mind of others is impossible.


Today; a blur.

Yesterday, as far away as peace at play
Seven and careless
thoughtless to teach and preach
without saying a word.


Natured Constrictions

I hate that I always start filling in forums and questionnaires with: 'I'.

Catching myself again, I realize I don't want to be passive in my intention to sell myself or my potential for contribution to an outlet, but MAN do I focus wholly on myself the great-portion of the day.

(and suddenly, a silent desire to type on a pigeon-excrement-covered table in MacArthur park - stop searching for spelling of 'MacArthur')

This morning I awoke and did what the priest vehemently proposed last night at mass following the novena, to which I stumbled upon late - stepping high over the lap of a veil-faced elderly to enter the pew. No one ever scoots to the middle; they always expect you to step over them. Some people, knelt in prayer, are seemingly so peaceful that disturbing them seems to be a crime. I just want to bottle up their gracious-peace and bathe in it, in the glory of sparkle-covered rained clouds, letting no drips hit the ground.

So yeah, I knelt this morning and offered what good and bad would come of the day to God - and tried desperately to make a point not to do this for me but for others. Following my 30 second finger-combing session in the bathroom mirror, to the sound of the absurdly-loud bathroom fan, I put on a dirty shirt, same jeans, same shoes; socks, I was already wearing and tip-toed out onto the front porch. There I found darkness at 6:35 a.m.

Cafecito Organica sounded better than McDonalds coffee, a substance foreign to me this week after my roommate passively ordered the retirement of my beloved, yet leaky, Bunn. The adventure to the airport was of Grace and coherence; clarity of desires unfulfilled and longings of which I've been dying to bask. We said our good byes, again at an airport terminal and I watched as she escaped from my view, and a LAX patrol beeped at me to carry-on.

So I don't know what's going on. I know that yesterday I was a mess of emotion and paralyzed defeat, and agony of unending self-doubt. The thoughts that bind, aren't of the lack to substance of other's talents. They are of my limitless potential, which I can't seem to tap into because of my own fears and lack of ability to focus.

I'm trying to grow up, so I don't have to keep watching someone I love disappear into terminals or escape into bus stations without my confidence to leave a car in long-term parking.

I'm trying hard to see the cluelessness in my lack of action. And I'm trying desperately to put everything, including everyone before 'I'.



moments in time where pejorative poo-poos potent the primacy of the pulpit.

Disparaging days dissuade devout deviance drowning dreams of dastard do-gooders.

For years I've wondered what is next, when next is dependent on the state of being here now. Do what you wish, but be sure to be here for the moments what do.

Structure is required of some populations; I'll refrain from claiming I'm not. Not in any span of time do a writer's flock coincide with an artist's intent.

For years I've dreamt of walking deep into the woods, to return only with Ultimate truths. Recently I've begun to wonder through my wander; "am I in the vastness of the woods, eyes closed and shoes buckled?"

The ship-master's quarters neatly abated of wrongdoing whence by the hands be unrecognized heroes of our time. From the master's chamber to the rotten floorboards of servants, cleansed to view reality; captain's keep, undying quickly defaulted toward eternal sleep.

i have to do more to take the life less serious, serious less given to life more through what do have i?


When the time comes to sit down and type, I often wonder: "what am I to write?" However, in my states of confusion or my daily-drift into periods of flatlined intent, I find the answer but never get it down in time.

As a creative mind speaks, so the swans flock to the park.

And then the time comes when words are to be transcribed, yet there are no pens and not even chalk scraps to write on sidewalks or nails to carve into our skin. Chances fleet like the California sun's warmth in late afternoon, and we're powerless but within our control. As the opportunities for quandary arise, so do the persistant-glooms appear giving us nothing but bounties of limitless produce.

Factories are torn down and orchards take their place. Foundries by rivers and cheers by gasps.

Perhaps it's a case of; I saw her first.

"No. It's nothing like that."


And then the time comes when all logic is thrown out the window, resorting not from what we've learned to be truth but embracing the darkness of what we try to deny.

How do I ask forgiveness for something that's given me precisely what I wanted. With the contact of a friend-lost and now found, I desire nothing more than forgiveness, thanking God at the same time.

Time lost is nothing, as empty spaces are slowly filled with submerging and thorough peace-expelled graces. Contradictions in experience, but more importantly; people, yield truth from what we try to dispel as the incongruences of others; heightened understanding of the faults we deny in ourselves.

Yet, frightful means expel truth at every turn in our lives. For it's within suffering that we become better versions of ourselves, and find peace, hope, and joy - assuming we're not complacently ignorant through denial.

Through this peace not-lost and the redemptive nature of forgiveness, I'll ask for nothing more. And, pay mind to asking for nothing more than a greater ability for thankfulness, for this truly miraculous gift.


Is it possible to de-shroud yourself from dread and darkness spilled?

"I don't want to know you...please let me be."

Eternal words, coupled with broken handshakes - banned of ill-assumptions and drunken-facade.

"This is boring...leave me alone."

It's a shame, faults ever-masking. Clenching fists make limp arms fall - when will it end? I pleased a million nights dark in humility and suffering of days.

"No one is better than another, but I don't want to know you."

The backspace opens journey to further nights of wandering.


For hopeful-wanters grassed

The living-despaired strip their clothes to them naked-silent in the streets; vendors of goods rather-wasted. Procured of wisdom-pained in old world grace, never-fathomed.

Gentleman's blistered toes and wet feet, tiptoed-ruins in cities of splendor. Nights never-ending to hopeless sunrises, with drab glitz and calmed, seemingly-virtuous seas.

The day passes, and night falls hard. We summon the poison, to relive the night as fast as the day's blitz. No faults of promise, no leaves of spring, and no reality to calm the voracious day.

Tempted peace never-passed for hopeful-wanters grassed. Trampled the beast ever-pressed?

Sistern-whispers heather spotters, ever-fisted no fall wished.

Symboled swans, expired tears aged-fleeting trembled yawns.


of my time?

What did I make of my time?

A more appropriate question than to ask: did I live a life-fulfilled? Asking for specifics is genuinely more attractive supplementing the detail within a feature of life. Yet more importantly in remembering such things that led to a fulfilled life. For without the small awkward hugs from acquaintances or belly-aching laughs with a friend - there'd be little to the summation of a soul.

And as we sit in silence; our truths binding us to obscure seclusion in the name of morality, and doubt seeping deep from our minds to the creases of our couch-cusions, we know. Set to knowing in a life-unfulfilled, destined for something greater - a passing hope not fulfilled by secularity - where we are the judged and they the victors. Destined for greatness, oddly enough, leaves a life seemingly unfulfilled.

Ever a day passes, as a brush scratches and falls, we find there is no purpose in uncharacterized successes. Rather, our hope through Truth rests on divinity and in its unceasing obscurity. Yes, we are the crazy ones, set sail to worlds-unlimited - destined for gilded perfection.


Midnight City

Loving how fast a person can drive without scolding or LAPD handcuffs, I turned the wheel softly right and then sped to the green arrow, made a hard right - bracing myself with my left hand clutching the underside of the seat - and then another slow-then speedy right just as '101 South - Los Angeles' became visible; a stalwart occurence with freeway signs in Southern California.

Gracefully fumbling my tethered iPhone, I hit shuffle within the song category - as I often do - landing on a less-desirable M83 song, instantly enlightened to switch to 'Midnight City'. Fleeing the scene, I rolled the windows down to feel the humid 49 degree temps of the San Fernando Valley. Homeward bound, my black hood pulled to cover my chilling ears taking in the brilliant sounds of M83s masterpiece and the booming of the wind through the open windows.

Speeding and moving to the right, grasping the 101, I made the freeway my own. Just as I cleared Universal - Tujunga before that - I glimpsed Hollywood and then the faded-glossy downtown scene. I am making this city my own, and no one is stopping me but myself.

Within that instant - as flurries of sensations lightened my peripheral - I lived in L.A., and I didn't need any thing, action, word or other person to pull me close to her bosom, or tell me to stay. She was my lifestream, my bride - in a sense - and I dreamt nothing, but to hold her tight and make her my life.


Back to LA and loving it

After a whirlwind trip back to the mother land, which was full of oddity, raucous laughter and not-enough giving of myself, I lurched back into my ride and headed back 'home' to the West Coast. I didn't feel refreshed through Indiana, Illinois - falling asleep in the middle - but by the time I awoke - with a bit of procurement - I was ready to get to California and make it happen.

The long and beautiful trek through Western Colorado, and Utah took the entirety of the day and evening of last Saturday. --Whoa, has it only been a week?!-- By the time I scaled the Sierra Madre and saw the lights of Rancho Cucamonga, I knew what is often clothed and hidden in my heart; I'm back to where i want to be.

And, in saying that I didn't feel bad. But it hasn't left me feeling a sense of peace about the entire thing. I love my family, I'm proud to be from Indiana, but I have felt a strong pull to stay there, a reservation from fellow family and friends - unapologetic about their desire for me to be 'home'. In that instant of seeing the artificial beacons in the warm valley below, I felt I'd escaped that pull, which for all intensive purposes, has been a monstrous burden for me. Some people move and leave all behind, start a new life, make new friends and call the 'new' place home in a matter of weeks. They obviously weren't a member of my family. For as far as I travel I'm latched to their loving grip, and I have yet to fully 'move' away. If I make the break to start a life I want - and need - to live, I become someone dismissing the importance of family, condemning their love and

But, it's nothing like any of that. The greatest fault in remaining within the same community or region for the entirety of your life, is in how you rob your senses of perspective building exercise that only adventure, travel and interaction with those different than you, can bring. Therefore, you could never understand my perspective - and through my experience - I can never honor yours, in its full capacity.


I slept until I had to awake early to clean and deliver the van, not around the corner but 3.5 hours away to Fresno. Thoroughly exhausted, both ways, I made my way up and back; crashed at 5:30 p.m. and didn't rise, except to watch an episode of Downton Abbey at midnight, until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Monday I attempted to catch up on what has become my life - with no complaints. I drove a car out to Mira Loma and picked up another - a car that will soon attach a fantastic story. (more on that this week).

Tuesday, after having cleaned and serviced my ride for the past few months, I delivered a car - to be leased - to a recently-returned missionary family. The couple had been in Morocco for 17 years, church planting and had done quite a bit of traveling on all other continents. As I pulled into the drive way, I stepped out and awkwardly shook Cary's hand. Immediately we switched from my job with MATS - which we hadn't even begun to scratch the surface - to Tim Tebow and his NFL Christian-heroics. We then transitioned back to my job, and thirty-five minutes later, I found myself being ushered into - what I found out later to be - his sister in-law's house. We chatted for literally hours about MATS, the car business, education, perspectives on traveling, perspectives on life, mission work, business, journalism, the business of journalism and our common distaste for the downfall of genuine interaction in young people.

Later, after much talking, lunch with the family and a maze of a Northern California strip-mall parking lot, Cary dropped me off in Tracy, Calif. to pick up my next ride. A lot of ride out to Tracy included silence, which was a new development for us as we'd talked for seven hours straight. However, we touched on the importance of mission work and bringing real-world-tangible education and experience to the villages in which his mission administers. For the first time I had at least reached the hurdle that had plagued me for many years - the very thing that has quelled me about mission work. For the first time I realized and/or put together the practicality of the Western-educated into low-income, low-educated mission fields, helping to first create a better-way of life, then to minister the Gospel through action and word.

I had a wonderful time and didn't want to leave those seven hours.

During my drive home, other than listening to Grapevine Fires about 19 times, I thought about my future - as I always am - and how I could now see myself, using my talents to procure the needy in the places where I dream of going.

Next hurdle; find out where my talents lie.

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