Plans & Tasks

It’s been said; “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”

The truth in this quote is immeasurable at best,

But feels like a kick to the gut at its worst.

 

It’s no news to me,

That I am my own worst enemy.

I guess what I failed to realize until now,

Is the fact that it is true.

Or at least I failed to accept this truth.

 

I feel as though I’ve been pacing,

Pacing forward for years on end.

Years spent grinding essentially,

Into a brick wall that I built myself.

A wall that kept me from anyone,

And kept out everyone.

Just the way I thought it should be,

The way I was convinced

I deserved to have it be.

 

I’m not saying I’ve moved,

But I may not have much left to be grounded down by the wall.

And yet, as the fibers of myself fall away;

It’s as though I’ve finally stopped going nowhere.

In this broken state of being & mind,

I’m as disabled as I choose to be.

The only way I can finally and actually start moving,

Is simply by asking for help.

 

Simply?

Not so simple, actually

Quite terribly difficult and painfully will I be asking for help.

I’d compare this time of my life,

To the contents crushed by mortar & pestle.

The thing that makes this association most appropriate,

Is that what has typically been ground in a mortar & pestle has a specific purpose.

And I am trusting that in my being grounded down,

This grinding process will also serve a purpose.

 

God, help me.

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Transitional Transmission; From Visitor to Resident

In a city that reminds many of other cities,

It’s easy to reflect upon identity.

Or at least, it brings identity to mind often.

Questions like; Who am I?

What & where is my place in the world?

I will soon be living in such a city,

And it’s one of very few cities I truly enjoy.

The more I experience it,

The more I learn about it;

The comforts I find,

And even the discomforts I’ve seen & felt.

It’s all becoming this sort of travelogue within me.

I still have many places to see,

Both within my new cityscape & beyond.

But for now, I ready my mind to learn.

To decipher what I shall keep & what I should let go,

What I shall remember & what I should withdraw.

It’s as if this new land has inspired a new chapter,

In this tale where I’m the nameless narrator/named character waiting for my Tyler Durden to arrive.

The thing is, I think Tyler is dead.

The projection of what I thought I’m supposed to be,

was thankfully Executed,

and yet the identity fighting it’s way into existence has yet to be notified.

And onward I walk,

Up a hill that requires to a staircase to be carved into the pavement;

Not sure if I’ll make it back down or if I care.

But as I sit taking full advantage of this bird’s eye view,

I’m….

Still….

Silent.

Avoiding the temptation to project any sort of impression upon what I’m beholding,

Simply letting my eyes behold both natural & unnatural beauty in all it’s varieties.

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Just reference point for those unfamiliar: Tyler Durden is the embodiment of the qualities admired by but not present in the nameless narrator found in Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel & David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club.

Hypocritical Android

Robotically, almost automatically;

If I’m asked how I am

I kindly reply”fine, thanks! How are you?!”

And if I were to try counting how many times this answer has been a lie,

I’d probably waste a year;

Hell I might even die before I get to the final digit.

 

But tonight, as I’ve been many other nights

I’m not fine.

I’m quite disillusioned, sad, disgusted, overwhelmed, anxious, and other things I can’t even phrase.

I’m at the point of wishing I didn’t feel these things,

Not even because of the convenient hypocrisy that has wrapped me up previously;

No just because I don’t know if I’m totally ready to feel the heft of this realization.

The fact that some of the oxygen I’ll never get back,

The life I’ve allowed my mouth to broadcast to others and even myself has been nothing but exaggeration.

And for what!!!!!

So people could say that I’m good company?

So people could be convinced I’m an optimist,

When optimism is sometimes what made me sick to my stomach?

 

And so,

This is me.

I’m Ben, a 22 year old volunteer or vocational missionary who despite both self-caused and accidental brushes with death;

Is still privileged with the opportunity to be alive.

I’m not perfect, and never plan to strive for being perfect ever again.

I have good and bad days, and I’ve had some rough or bad ones more often than not recently.

Despite my more natural introversion, I enjoy meeting new people and even sometimes deeply long to be around groups of people.

It’s an insane internal conflict to have when there are weeks at a time, I wouldn’t mind not even having to put up with being around myself.

I used to consider myself not “manly” because I don’t really know anything about cars or how to use tools and maintain appliances or home needs. I used to think that my interests were what defined me and made me valuable to humanity, that the only way I could be valuable was by contributing something(any type of something of substance) even if it was of interest to only a handful of people I may never meet. I have a tendency where if I deeply care about someone and what they think, I’m terribly afraid of disappointing them. I will even put aside my own interests and desires so the interests of those I care about are accounted for while mine are either ignored or even forgotten. I’ve at times been able to, genuinely, put aside my interests; but I unfortunately see there are many others times where it was simply out of fear of disappointing or upsetting others even if it left me feeling uncomfortable.

 

If I’m remembered for something, while I’d prefer it be whatever is chosen by another individual beyond myself(even if it’s negative), I hope that I can be remembered as someone who wasn’t one to settle or be apathetic towards this gift we know as life.

In my imperfection, I will not stop doing my best to be a better man and better influence in the corner of the world that I can inhabit. But in light of this, I want to commit to no longer allowing a desire to appear good on the outside when I know things aren’t good at all. I ask of those I know and see or speak with regularly to call me out if they believe I’m being fake with them, question me if you have to. Please do it gently, if you will, at least to start. Cutting off a mask that has felt like flesh for so long is no simple task. But consider these words the beginning of my sharpening a knife fit for the job.

 

Father, Forgive us; for we Still don’t Have a Clue.

As our eternal brother, Christ, hung upon the cross dying slowly;

He pleaded our case with the ultimate judge, the creator of all things.

His blood washed us clean, and we’ve been offered righteousness

at the price of Jesus Christ being MURDERED!

In cold blood, somehow forgiveness was ultimately offered to those least deserving;

Mankind.

And yet, because forgiveness is costly;

Because it might be inconvenient or mean that we were wrong

we often choose to live in bitterness.

Jesus already advocated for us on the day of his death,

“Father , forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

But thousands of years laters, I petition on behalf of myself and all of humanity:

Father, forgive us; for we still don’t know what we are doing!

Please discipline us and show mercy where necessary,

But ultimately help us surrender to your teachings

that we may live a life daily that is worth living.

For life is a gift,

that if lived bitterly;

Is no better than abuse for the sake of “justice”.

Forgiveness is sacrificial and not vengeful,

Costly and not cheap.

At it’s most extreme, it’s a life and death matter.

“Hello, folks!”

Is it really that hard to even act like your paying attention when a stranger speaks?

As I sit on the train hearing Bart say his usual piece,

I’m reminded of the sincere reality of his demeanor

as well as the harsh nature of his situation.

Never, when he was a child, did he ever dream of being a public speaker within a train

sharing of struggles both internal & external that he truly needs help with.

And what is the reaction of the majority?

Not only do his words fall on deaf ears,

Hardly anyone even will glance at him.

God forbid, they make direct eye contact with him.

As if he can’t see them,

He wears glasses for what is already problematic vision.

Why should his demise become reality due to communal apathetic decision?

 

As I wince from internal pain,

Watching him walk to next car of blank faced & deaf people;

I wonder again why we always want the easy out,

Yet can’t be bothered to offer a helping hand.

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“Bart” is a more a given name for me to remember a gentleman I’ve seen multiple times now as I ride the BART(Bay Area Rapid Transit) around the Bay Area. He has multiple disabilities and is homeless, and the way he’s ignored by the majority of train patrons is practically a crime against humanity. I truly hope he never has to ask for help in this way, where he’s treated as less than human.