Category Archives: Prose

Of Topogrophy and Meteorology, or, The Ponderer Pondered

I am sitting down now with a cup of hot tea.  This is the first time in nearly a month I have been able to sit and write. It is the first time in nearly a month I have been able to really sit and really think.

A month is a significant period of time.  It is long enough to break bad habits, ruin good ones, or start new ones. I have done all three.

Typing, typing…I am merely typing.  But in it I am transcribing, listing, scribbling, inscribing, denoting, annotating, and meaning. I want to write down all of the things I mean and mean all of the things I write.  I want to write meaningful things.  The surge of connotation is almost too much, and I am at risk of burning myself out, of over-consuming the fuel of thought, of sputtering to a halt in the middle of a desert.

Refocus.

I do not want to drift endlessly in this sea of chaos of mind.  I long for the stillness, for the quiet place, for the darkness and stillness and quiet that is found under stones and beneath tree roots…deeper than the hearts of mountains.

I close my eyes and I pray.

Come find me here.  Grasp my spinning heart, and force it to stand still. Come into the caverns of my soul and open all of my doors, fling them wide; let in sky and clouds and sunlight.  Hold me close to your eye and examine me, deep within the palm of your hand, so close I can feel your breath upon my body as you ponder, ponder, mind of ages.

Stand at the bow of your ship and speak calm into the raging sea of my soul.

Ask me why I am afraid…

I want to tell you.


So Long, Summer!

The sweet smell of dry grass signals that summer is on the wane.  The nights become lighter, cooler, and with the sunset an electricity drops like dew onto the streets and lawns of the neighborhood. It is the tense energy of students returning to school, of people venturing out of doors in twilit hours to enjoy a long-awaited break in the crushing heat of August.

I am sitting on my balcony, leaning back in a faux-wicker chair.  The unseasonably crisp evening brushes my cheeks and forehead, beckoning me to close my eyes. A fish jumps, making attempts at low-flying dragonflies, in the small pond below where I sit. Spreading, bleeding oranges, reds, blues, and purples of the western sky seem to sing to me, raising a melody in some secret place reserved specifically for this moment. I inhale deeply, taking in a bouquet of aroma: grass cut for the last time, charcoal grills and too much lighter fluid, and a light hint of rain all suggest the season is preparing to depart, like a tasteful party guest who wishes to leave without making a scene.

I spend the moment in my mind, replaying the many, many events that have passed this summer.  It seems to have gone by too quickly, but I realize every day was filled with some blessing.  I spent time with a friend as he stepped into the next stage of life.  I experienced the climax of one of my most beloved literary franchises.  I witnessed students, who had formerly given up the motivation to ever do so, awaken and become writers.  I celebrated the beginning of a new family and met many new friends while doing so.

I was once again blessed with the emergence of new life into the world, into my home, into my arms. My ragged little existence has, somehow, been allowed to be a part of something beautiful.  My son and my daughter adore each other, and they adore my wife and I, and, oh, how we adore them.

It strikes me that this is only a reflection…a refracted image… of what is yet to come.

Before I can begin to dwell on excitement of a new school year, the smell of text books, the new school supplies, a new cadre of students, and the still unrolling path ahead of each one of us, I am summoned away from the serenity of the evening.

My daughter must be wrangled into pajamas.  The dogs must be walked and fed.  Toys need to be put away, and dishes should be washed.  Eventually, I must lay down in bed and drift along the sliding passage of time.

I step back into my apartment and I am greeted with a loud, “Daddy!” My daughter grabs my hand and drags me back to her room, ready to show me some new wonder she has discovered.  My wife holds my sleeping son while she brushes her teeth.

The evening’s musings fade like smoke on a breeze, and I am enfolded in overwhelming bliss.


The Gate of Creek-Stones: Part 2: The Sanctuary

Preface:

As I mentioned in my post “Thoughts On the End of a School Year,” I ended up taking this story in a different direction than I originally intended. It started out as a piece in which I merely wanted to relate the experience of tromping through the woods on a warm afternoon.  As I continued to write the piece, the spiritual notes on what happened that day began to stand out more and more. I did this to help illustrate a process which produced in me an experience of spiritual catharsis. What I ended up with is the narrative that follows.

To sum up, this piece was originally intended to be a detailed description of a hike through the woods, nothing more.  What has emerged is a story about the Grace of God.  Praise Him that he shows up in places we did not expect, and that He has already been ahead of us on the roads we travel. Amen.

See The Gate of Creek-Stones: Part 1 here.

***

The path bent towards the water, and the walls of green became steep, sheer, and narrow. As I walked, the path began to level out, rather than continue in its gradual, downward slope.  Something changed about the mood of the place, too; it was still, so placid that the stillness had a presence of its own.  I turned off my music.  The immensity of the silence was profound.  I felt as if I was being followed, but not in a way that was threatening; I felt that I was being not just watched, as the adage goes, but that I was being watched over.

In places, there were partings in the honeysuckle through which I could see deep into the woods.  The view was always of a labyrinth of trees that seemed to go on forever.  There were no building tops visible beyond the canopy.  There were no power lines or cell phone towers.  There was no whoosh of rushing cars from the highway near my home.  The only sounds were the rustling, whisper of tree leaves, the songs of frogs and birds, and the deafening, roaring stillness.  Even the thump, thump of my footsteps began to be muffled by the presence of silence.

I don’t remember how long it took, but eventually I reached the creek.  The path eventually dropped off steeply and ran almost perpendicularly into the creek.  At the drop-off the path became muddy, too, probably because the rain we’d been having washed away all of the ground cover.  I stood for a little while on the edge of the drop, surveying the area.

After an approximate eight-foot slope, the path leveled off for about a foot before reaching the creek.  Where the path would have continued was a trail of stepping-stones made from exposed bedrock; they had not been placed there by human hands, but they had been placed there all the same.  To the right, from the direction the stream was flowing, was a wide pool where water collected just before spilling over a natural dam from which the stepping stones protruded. To the left of the stones was a short waterfall which ran over the dam and into a pool that was perfectly clear, despite the turbulence from the continually pouring water.  Nothing was being stirred up at the bottom of the fall, and I could see straight to the bottom of the basin of water, which was probably three feet deep.  The temperature of the air dropped noticeably as I approached the creek, and the sound of the frogs’ songs reached hypnotically deafening intensity.

Carefully, I climbed down the slope toward the stream, hanging on to tree roots and shrubbery as I tried not to lose my footing.  When I reached the water’s edge, I paused for a moment, thoroughly planning and coordinating my steps to the other side of the water. About halfway over the rock-bridge, I stopped to snap a few more pictures.  After standing there for a while, I began to look ahead at what laid beyond the creek.  On the other side of the water, the path continued up a steep slope, and then it bent to the left, out of view from my vantage point in the bottom of the ravine.  I had been walking in these woods for over an hour now;  I began to feel as if I should turn back.  I made several attempts to go back toward the slope that I had climbed down into the creek.  Every time I tried, though, I would feel as if something, no, someone, was calling me from beyond the bend in the trail on the other side of the water.  It would be a shame to have come this far, I told myself, and not see what was on the other side of that rise.  After one last look back, I began crossing the remainder of the creek toward the path on the other side.

Upon crossing the water, I noticed that ambient noises began to fade; the frogs and the birds that were hidden among the trees began to fall silent.  The wind that caused the canopy of the woods to hiss and sigh became still.  The stillness began to take on a personality.  I felt it place an arm around my shoulders and lead me on, up to where the path bent away from view.

For some reason, I felt compelled to keep my head down as I climbed the trail. Slowly now, even the sound of the water from the creek began to fade.  The bushes and trees and the immense honeysuckle vines all began to close in.  I thought that the trail was ending, and I began to wonder why the stillness continued to lead me.  The stillness was fairly pressing on me at that point, pushing me from behind, urging me forward.  I came to a place where two thin bushes grew close together, but not so close that I could not see the path continuing vaguely between them.  I began to tremble.  I don’t know why, but something inside my heart took flight, the way some birds will suddenly evacuate their nests in the bushes when a person walks by too closely.  It left me shivering in its wake.  “What is going on? This doesn’t make any sense,” I thought to myself.  I put out an arm to push aside one of the bushes.  As soon as I had created a wide enough opening, I stepped through.

What I saw next could not have been expected.  The woods had been growing denser, darker, more crushingly close by the second.  Now, before me was displayed its complete opposite. The sunlight spread out before me into a wide-open clearing.  The opening was round and about fifty feet in diameter.  Grass grew densely, thigh-high throughout the entirety of the glade.  Thick bushes covered in honeysuckle bordered the perimeter, beyond which stood a wall of trees. I could still faintly hear the water from the creek and the waterfall beyond the edge of the clearing.  There were more bird songs than I could distinguish, and this mixed now with the sound of cicadas and frogs.  The symphony was so loud that it drowned out thought. The clouds drifted quickly and silently overhead, creating shifting, cruising shadows across the floor of the opening.  Bees and butterflies darted in and out among the honeysuckle, and there were so many dragonflies hovering and settling at the tips of the tall grass that they looked like strange, jeweled flowers.  The presence of the stillness settled upon me once more, consecrating and sanctifying the entire space. The open floor, bordered by pillars and buttresses of bushes and trees which supported the high-domed ceiling of sky, clouds, and sunlight, and the cacophony from the choir of forest creatures all gave the impression that this was some primal cathedral.

I stepped further in, hesitantly, allowing the circumstances to wash over me.  As I emerged from the shadows of the forest into the bright midday light, I began to feel the anxiety and frustration that had previously been plaguing me evanesce, carried away like smoke on a breeze. It was as if the sunlight, the drone of the animals in the glade, and the aroma of the trees, moss and flowers were all flowing into my body and forcing out anything else that was there.  I wanted to speak out, to thank God for bringing me here, but a powerful urge beyond my own conscience compelled me to remain silent; I bowed my head instead. I remained that way for several minutes and let the sounds, smells, and sights swirl around me.  The stillness gently placed the palms of its hands upon the crown of my head, and tears spilled from my eyes. I felt something begin stirring in my chest as I rapidly went through a mental checklist of all the things in my life that were currently scaring, angering, and saddening me.

Frustrations at work.

Anxiety over providing for my growing family.

Lies I had told.

The faces of hundreds of friends I’ve had to bid farewell as life has carried me down its current.

Shame for a multitude of failures.

Each thought and memory flickered across my mind, like a slideshow being projected by lightning. As time wore on, I felt each thing leave me as it flashed and faded on the screen in the theater of my skull. Progressively, I was feeling lighter as each thought was lifted up, like stones raised from deep, flowing water. They were each exposed for a moment, and then carried away down some overgrown, unmarked trail beyond the clearing and through the woods.  I was not doing this; it was as if I was being examined, as if someone was taking inventory of my soul.  I realized that I was not in control of what was happening to me at this moment; the stillness was running the show. “Thank you,” I whispered.  It was all I could muster.

I stood still and silent in the forest sanctuary as the earth turned about me and clouds passed rapidly overhead.  This went on for what seemed like ages.  Gradually the clouds gathered and became thicker in preparation for an afternoon storm.  In time, the images stopped skipping around my mind, and I was released from the spot where I had been standing. Without an actual assertive thought, I knew it was time to leave.

I pushed back through the bushes at the entrance to the glade and returned, once again, to the forest path. The walk home, though entirely uphill, seemed to go much more rapidly than the journey in. Eventually I came back to the gate of creek-stones.  There was a round white stone, about the size of a loaf of bread, nestled into the leaf-litter in the middle of the trail.  I did not remember seeing it as I had entered.  I began to lift it up and noticed that its bottom-half had been embedded in the mud.  It was wet and soiled, heavy, and more difficult to lift than I had anticipated.  Once I had a grip on it I placed the rock amongst all the others at the entrance to the woods.  I stood for a moment, long enough to realize that if I returned, I would not be able to remember which stone was mine. Satisfied that this was acceptable, I emerged from the forest.

I still don’t know what was the purpose of that afternoon.  I didn’t receive any answers to my questions, and none of my unresolved circumstances came to any miraculous conclusions. I do know that the source of stillness lead me through the woods, beyond the gate of discarded creek-stones, to the sanctuary in the glade beyond the stream.  I know that my heart was examined, and that I allowed myself, for once, to surrender control of everything, the faculties of my body, even the process of my mind.

I know that, for now, this is enough to know.


The Gate of Creek-Stones: Part 1: A Blessing of Honeysuckle

Yesterday I woke up feeling frustrated.  I couldn’t really understand why, except that frustration has been the general motif of my moods for the last several weeks. There is currently a great amount going on and changing in my life, and I know that I have been getting overwhelmed. I make efforts to combat these moods, but sometimes they are too potent and permeate my day, anyway. I’ve gone through phases like this before, so I suspect, in the end, I will be okay.

Anyway, at one point in the afternoon I was spiraling downward into depths of acerbity and testiness.  I eventually realized that I had been indoors all day, and that getting out might do me some good.

This might be a good point in this narrative to state that recently I have been making conscious attempts at living a healthier lifestyle.  Part of this commitment is to take a fifteen to twenty-minute walk every day.

As my mood declined, I decided that perambulation spent in solitude might help me to shake it off.  I cleared it with my wife, put on my sneakers, grabbed my phone and earbuds, and walked out the door.

We were supposed to have heavy thunderstorms that day, but by three-thirty in the afternoon there had not been a drop of rain.  The sky was still remotely foreboding, and the air retained all of the qualities of a thunderstorm, as if the day were still making its decision about what it would do.  The temperature was hot, which was pleasant, because by early May we in the St. Louis area had still been averaging temperatures in the low sixties. It was the sort of heat that licks one’s skin, settles on the surface for a moment, and then soaks inside and warms the core, too. The atmosphere was dense and heavy, thick with moisture from the previous weeks’ relentless rains. Everything was still; no birds sang, no dogs barked, none of my neighbors were out, and all of the cars in the parking lot rested in their spaces, unmanned and temporarily forgotten.

“Perfect,” I thought to myself, as I put in my earbuds and turned on “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care,” my current musical obsession. I then took off walking toward a wood that borders the back lot of my apartment complex.

I had noticed during earlier jaunts a well-marked trail leading back into the dense vegetation of this forest, just beside a set of utility sheds which stand in the furthest corner of the community’s property.  Since our apartments are set in the middle of a well developed suburban area, I always assumed that it lead through a shallow wooded area and into a neighboring high-end duplex community.  I had never actually seen where the path went; I just made an educated guess.  I decided, though, that this afternoon would be as good a time as any to to explore the trail.  The worst event that could have occurred is that I would end up in some privileged back yard, and then have to turn around and lap my apartment building until I wore myself out of crankiness. Walking in step with the rhythm of the music, I ducked in among the trees.

I was surprised as soon as I stepped behind the tree line.  There were piles of large stones placed on either side of the entrance to the trail, and seeing as many of them were smooth, rounded, and colorful, I guessed that they had all been carried for some distance from a creek which I knew flowed through the area. It was kind of interesting, because the stones had been put there deliberately, and there were so many of them that it could not have been an easy job.  Thinking about it put me into a quizzical mood, which helped to lift my disposition. Perhaps there was more to this trail than I had previously assumed.

I continued along, and after about one-hundred feet the trail dropped rapidly down into the forest and bent toward the creek. Because of all the rain, the vegetation had grown densely and wildly, in places almost completely veiling the path.  It was pleasant, though, as most of this uncontrolled life consisted of honeysuckle, one of my favorite wild plants.  The aroma of this flower is potently soothing to me. It reminds me of being a child, of summers spent tromping through the forests of southern Alabama, of building primitive fortresses along creek beds and trapping crawfish in makeshift traps.  There was more of the flower growing in these woods than I had ever before seen in one place. I kept waiting for the shrubbery to transition into thick briars and thorns, but it never did.  I only encountered low-hanging tree branches and rampant, fragrant honeysuckle.

“This is getting good,” I said out loud, not worrying that anyone would hear me. I did this for two reasons: one, I still had my music on, and I was experiencing the heightened sense of solitude that comes from wearing headphones, and two, I was becoming a little nervous that, no matter how deeply I pressed on, there wasn’t a house or structure to be seen. I began to suspect that I had finally, finally entered into one of my favorite escapist exercises; I had found a gateway to Narnia!

No, as it turns out I possess only a nominal sense of direction, and the path had actually turned subtly and lead away from the neighborhoods, into an undeveloped area that I was previously unaware existed. I kept walking, and after about twenty minutes I finally came to the creek.  The path became narrow and ran right along the edge of the surprisingly deep water bed.  It actually made me a bit nervous, because it appeared that the land on which the path was made could give way and slide into the water at any second.  The trail was well-worn, though, even this far back, and was carpeted with moss.  I figured it had been there for a while, so I trusted it enough to continue on.  Before I went any further, I remembered the creek-stones at the path’s entrance.  Someone must have carried the rocks, uphill and through dense vegetation, for over half of a mile in order to deposit them at the “gateway” to this trail.  I began to think I was in the process of receiving a gift. After all, someone had gone to all of that trouble to make the entrance to the trail clear and obvious.  If this person (or these people) wanted to, they could have kept it a secret.  It was as if it was meant to be shared. At this point in my thought process, I began to feel grateful.

I walked on for a while, probably another half-hour, and the trail continued to lead deeper and deeper into the wood.  At times the trail would fork and appear to turn back. I would follow these detours only to discover that they eventually lead back to the main path.  Now and then I would see evidence of human presence: orange tie-markers placed sporadically around branches and trunks along the trail, or an odd beer can or other refuse strewn in the bushes. Not so many that I suspected the work of disrespectful people rather than that of raccoons or cats.

And always there was the honeysuckle; it was dense and fragrant, with millions of blossoms in all stages of maturation.  It was like swimming through a sea of green, gold, and white.  I was wearing a yellow glaze from the copious amount of pollen with which I was making contact. The plant was growing so prolifically that it was impossible not to continually brush against it in many places along the trail.  When I felt like it, I would take out my phone and snap pictures of whatever I thought was interesting. It seemed the trail was never going to end.  At times I began to worry I would not be able to find the way back, and I thought about turning around.  Then, abruptly, things changed.

***

Coming soon on [Poor Scribbler]:

The Gate of Creek-Stones: Part 2: The Sanctuary


An Exercise in Free-Writing

I often struggle with feeling frustrated or discouraged over things.  It has been a major force in my life, driving my decisions to either do or not do many things.  Most of the time it comes in the form making a comparison between me and others, and always directing the positive light away from myself. In a fashion this could be a good issue to have, as it does often result in compassion or humility.  More frequently, however, it is a form of anti-pride, and pride has always been a problem for me.

Take my writing, for example.  I really do enjoy writing.  I enjoy the feeling of writing something that I know is my best work yet.  I am entertained by the act of putting words to paper, permanently affixing my thoughts to a point in history and space.  I thrive on the use of language, and find it pleasurable to search for exactly the perfect word. One would think it should be enough for me, writing for writing’s sake. Too many times, though, I wish to receive approval from others, and I want to impress people with what I have produced.  This is where I begin to have problems.

I am blessed with friends and acquaintances who have significant gifts in the arts, be it the visual arts, music, or writing.  At times, most commonly when I get into a discussion with these friends about the concepts of writing and creativity, I find that my ideas are divergent from many of theirs.  Typically this should become a situation where people could agree to disagree. It isn’t that simple for me.  I will, in many cases, come to believe that their ideas are somehow quantifiable as greater or of more merit than my own. I go to them hoping for praise, but I sometimes leave feeling scorned or mocked.  I know this is merely my perception, that I have built an entire alternate reality out of assumptions and neuroses.

I discover that I have numerous insecurities.  I feel as if I am missing something when it comes to what I do, lacking a formal education in creative writing and poetry. I often feel as if I am of a lesser caliber than my peers. The junkyard dog of self-doubt and discouragement will bite into the pit of my stomach. It will hang as dead weight, jaws locked securely, for days. I begin to see and focus upon (what I perceive to be) my shortcomings. These thoughts will consume me, spirit and mind.  This cycle typically results in my relenting from an endeavor about which I had once been passionate, leaving it for one of my more capable and worthy companions to succeed.

I also know that I react to things first on an emotional level.  In a lot of ways this serves me as a strength.  It allows me to connect to my students.  It is a quality that helps me navigate the territories of marriage. In many instances it fuels my thoughts when I write.

This particular personality trait can turn on me, though.  It betrays me into feeling foolish when I discuss my ideas with friends. When I discover that others have separate ideas, or that they don’t always agree with me, I think that what I have is of lesser value, a thing that only someone with the taste of “the proletariat” would endure or entertain.  Again, I credit this to the self-doubt I have concerning the fact that I was not primarily educated as a writer or artist, but instead my expertise lies in the field of education, curriculum design, and pedagogy. Of course, we all know what is said about teachers: “Those who can’t do…” I don’t believe this adage to have any merit whatsoever, but it is one of those mocking, twisted little thoughts that screams at me from the alleys of my frenetic brain-city…

So, why am I writing about this? It is because I am currently experiencing a period of self-doubt.  It is what is foremost on my mind. Presently, it is the only subject about which I can think to write.

I suppose by writing about it I can somehow turn it against itself, a Judo maneuver of the psyche.  Perhaps by offering it up as matter for discourse, I can encourage others whom may be feeling the same thing, to discourage the types of thoughts with which I so often struggle: everyone “gets it,” but by some cosmic oversight I, in fact, do not.  I never will, and in this I am alone.  Try as I might, I will not ascend the steps of enlightenment.

Sounds ridiculous, right? In all sincerity, these are thoughts that frequently slither into my mentality and almost entirely paralyze me.

I present it here.  I consider “writer” to be a part of who I am. I sincerely and wholly enjoy the act of writing.  I struggle, however, with fear, with insecurity, and with warped thoughts.  I know, in my head, that this is my imperfection, not my ability or lack thereof to translate thoughts into crafted words and punctuation (though there are, and always will be, some issues with my writing from a craftsman’s perspective.  Otherwise, why continue?). I still struggle with it, though. Perhaps I always will.

Perhaps, if anything, this might become a word of encouragement for someone experiencing the same problems.  I hope that by confessing, I might be freed. I pray that in the future I have a victory about which to write.

I apologize if today’s thoughts were a downer.  Maybe I can lighten the mood with some items of procedure.

Don’t forget that I want to have guest writers.  I would like to do this frequently.  I know that I have been writing this blog for just over two weeks, but I have yet to receive many submissions.  I am in the initial stages of beginning some sort of submission contest, with prizes and everything.  More to come…

If I could ask a favor from those who read my blog regularly, and you enjoy what you find here, I would like to ask that you please spread the word.  So far, Facebook has been the primary source of my traffic.  That being said, it would mean a lot to me if you would re-post or share updates about Poor Scribbler.  Refer your friends. Follow me on Twitter.  I can use all the assistance I am offered. I would also be appreciative of any feedback or suggestions from readers.  Any at all, be it about my writing, the website itself, or ideas for features and content.  Thanks in advance, and thanks presently to all who read my stuff.  It is exciting to know that there are people who stop by my page.  It’s similar to the feeling I used to get before Christmas or Easter.  Pretty cool.

Thank you for stopping by this week.  Come back on Tuesday!


Farewell, Shadows.

So, this video was created by a friend of mine.  He is a cinematographer and film editor.  He and his wife came to spend the weekend with us when Clara was only a couple of weeks old.  He spent most of the time with a camera in his hand.  About a month after the visit, this is what was produced:

I wanted to share this, even though it is from some time ago.  I thought that since this blog is still in it’s initial stages, I could reveal just a little more about myself.  If there is anything to know about me, it’s this: my daughter is the inspiration for most of my work.  It isn’t that she is the only thing I write about; it’s that she causes something deep in my core to begin to resonate. I became irrevocably convinced of the existence of God on the day she was born.  My best friend said something that I will probably not forget on the evening she entered the world:

“When I held her in my arms, I felt the universe shift around me.  I never want to do evil again.  I want to undo all of the evil I’ve ever done.”

I believe that God speaks to us all.  I believe that God fiercely desires us and fiercely loves us.  I think we often forget this, or never learn it in the first place, because there is much suffering in the world.  The suffering distracts us, and we become lost in shadow.  We try to find our own way out of the darkness, but because we as humans are so limited we inevitably trek deeper into the gloom.  Because of this, our Father places things and people into our lives that are singularly purposed to remind us of Him. They are glimpses of light in a dark world; they are beacons meant to lead us away from darkness, to guide us back home.  Typically these are those things that move us beyond our capacity to name or fully comprehend the feelings they stir. Once we begin to respond to and follow these signals, we begin to see that God is in everything, and the world becomes much less dark.  For me, this is where art comes from: seeing what the light of Heaven is illuminating.

The day my daughter was born was the day I realized God wanted my attention.  This was the first time in my life, I think, that I “truly” began to write. I tried to write before, to create music, to draw, but I always did it selfishly.  I wanted people to be amazed at my profound abilities. I wrote about what I thought people would think was “deep.” I wanted to be recognized for being talented. I was trying to find my own way out of the shadows.

Then, God revealed to me what it actually means to create.  When I held my daughter for the first time, and as I got to know her for the first few weeks of her life, God began to open up entire cosmos in my soul. Every time I looked at her, I felt spiritual atoms splitting. The inspiration to write, for me, comes from God revealing his presence in small, but confounding, ways. Through my daughter I get glimpses of Heaven, and I get to experience a fraction of the love that my creator has for me. When I experience these moments, I write.

“Literature adds to reality; it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides, and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”  -C.S. Lewis

Enjoy the video.  The music was written and recorded by some very good friends of mine, Blackbird Cathedral.

-Mike