Day 2

This morning the night's excitement rung in my temple, just a bit, but I had no notion or dismay at what the day entailed - only, that i didn't have coffee in hand from the moment of consciousness.

Sleep's a funny thing; a necessary absurdity of life. Recently discovering in San Francisco a project instituted by a German Catholic priest; The Gubbio Project stunned me unexpectedly one May morning. The idea to purport that idea to the streets, and a church, in Hollywood instantly became a fascination. The need in Hollywood is greater than most other places in this United States, and I have constantly felt a pull to be more incarnate of the things I see to be as truth in charity. 

Arriving early to the Center, I pumped the coffee from the pre-made carafe, and then took my usual place (after two days, comfort is often found in minor routine, I've found) and awaited the arrival of the rest to discuss expectations for the day, and review of all things yesterday.

The warm morning left most a bit lethargic, and late to arrive but once into Morning Mindset the conversation steered from "what we are grateful for" to "why saying sorry is bull shit"... and a few points in between. I have been constantly amazed at the absurdity of dialogue with certain friends I've made, to the flip-side where in a group setting a person can be absolutely functional and insightful. As the Noon hour approached, a new friend of mine; dark-skinned, wearing a dollar-store cowboy hat, and eyes to piece amid a perfect 3-day beard, progressed in a monologue of unforeseen surrealistic diction. A-sexual he claimed to be, and having 9 children of which he'd all killed, he'd live a life as a Mexican - no - a true Mexican, and the sun being so hot had burnt deep into his skin making him appear to be African-American, of which we had all confused with 'real Mexicans'.

No brown-bag sandwiches today, but plenty of JNB cards to give out, I sat about observing the nature of the facility I know I am growing attached two, and of which I feel was destined for me and my foreseeable future. Building Czar, entitled, the next few weeks will be dedicated to figuring out how better to utilize the present facility, with the present staff and resources, while pulling in ideas from outside and freshness. The flexibility and off-the-cuff nature of a place undefined, in a lot of ways, is exciting and troubling at the same time. Destined to dream big things in the spirit of Charity, my burning desire to help my new friends discover how much they could use Jesus in their lives is in the forefront of my mind.

Asked what he was grateful for today, one man - hat covering much of his face, and dirt seeped into his bag, pants and arms folded on his chest - he said: "I'm grateful for nothing." "Being out of this shit is all I want right now." 

And because of the attitude and pain of my friend, I will come to work each day hoping that something we can do will help to change his mind.


The Center

How do I sum up four years of experiences that were at times so overwhelming, and so enlightening I feel humbled and sorrowful more people couldn't have experienced?

Today, I officially made my iPhone a second priority, didn't answer emails as they came in, and most-assuredly didn't make my way back from Midland, Texas with a car needing three tires and a deep clean to the floorboards. Today, I started a new job.

Digesting my time with MATS (Ministry Auto and Truck Service ... as I told folks more than 75 times on the phone) and how to comprehend all its significance will take time. But, if I were to sum up the 10s of thousands of miles driven, the people met through late night sales calls and in parking lot vehicle swaps, it would be with the word, adventure. When a high school friend told me his brother in law owned and ran a car business from my hometown, where they bought and sold vehicles throughout the US and had amateur drivers do the driving, I didn't waste a minute. My boss (now former, weirdly enough) called me right back and asked: do you want to fly to Houston tomorrow and drive back a truck?

Ecstatic for meaning, and adventure, I of course said yes; made the trip, and now sit reflecting of the hundreds of flights, and bus trips taken; the chilled fingers jumping dead cars in Dartmouth, Mass January mornings, and the heavy sobbing in rural Nebraska when all I had to face was myself, and He who I came to know more and more.

Moving to California wasn't popular, but seemed doable enough to make happen. So, in June, 2011, I packed up a SOLD 2006 Toyota Corolla and drove West, emotionless as I left and unsure if this was the right idea. Right off the bat, I remember Los Angeles having a new vibrancy, yet caustic dullness to it I never expected. I got involved with Young Life in September, and blessed with uncertainty began pitching MATS to people throughout Southern California over coffee and bagels. Meeting wonderful people, centering my week in the Church, and selling cars became my world.

Last week, coupled with the knowledge that things had hit a mild-stagnancy and with an offer to move to Indiana into a role similar to what I left in 2011, decisions had to be made and for a few days I was certain to make my life in California a silent and occasional reflection of a reality that became blurred.

But, luckily my plans did not trump what was presented. And now, today I started a new job working at the Center at Blessed Sacrament Church. The last two weeks have been miraculous in what has been presented, and taken away; further evidence to the sovereignty of a God who, ultimately, loves and takes away. I am excited, and energized to define what I now live and to be an opportunity to socialize I have missed these past few years, to engage in the lives of those who don't seek pity but friendship, and to finally reciprocate the Love God has given in allowing me to fail, while still nurturing, and ultimately keeping me in L.A. a little longer.


A Whipped Plane

A whipped plane, plain to see with the windows up, but down, to be downed by the splendor encompassed only with this type of vastness.

Sitting for hours, silence not for naught but traversing efforts toward closeness to the bringer of Peace. The only.

Dreams are heavy, and comforting when the roads journey takes more tolls and toiling on our souls. We disregard for a while the sipped perfection from whence we came, glamoured for justice to who we became.

Trivial matters none the less, uncovered near Hermit's nest. Blessed to bless, fessed to confess.

A priest to stare, iconic to share a truth-unfair to the tune of the wind in our softened hair.

"As a child I spoke like a child, felt as a child does, but now that I'm older I fear that all's not lost." Once a brain, now to complain of a surrounding so deafened, and dream-less. I take it back; for when dreams strive in equal relation to Justice, the days of golden mussels, and embraced lovingness from our soul's longing will reap.

To be.

nuestra diddy

A morning awakes to pounding temples - reminder of the night's lack - telling oneself: it's always the last time. Cold sweat, outstretched mornings turn to afternoons; cutting quick from morning to afternoon time is seamless, and seem-less. Coffee shop jolts off-set by meaningless conversations; carnival fears, planned trips Western Europe, hidden cigarettes, and forced dreams on paper. Perhaps other cities drone on in the day, pass slowly by night, but no city drags with the lethargic daily hangover of the Ciudad de Los Angeles. A time was born when they'd sit around, in like sleeves and reasonable arms, applauding the environment, characterizing it as a place to be, but never to stay. Rare a dream, born in the age of gilded faces, left unfulfilled. A dollar's worth bought a dollar's share - not so anymore, with the feint of the devil's snare, became a grim to bear. Hours spent, isolated from truth, and the witness to change gritted its teeth, passive to action but paned to normalcy. And then, we wind awake, slumberous in the mid-day, non-invasive sun. Caustic-carelessness straps our shoes to the boardwalk where so many, and so few die in silence, without care for no one even knew we were there.

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