Monday, February 20, 2017

The Worst Day Encapsulated

This poem has been added to my endless library of things that tell my stories better than I do. 

The Madness Vase/The Nutritionist - Andrea Gibson

"The trauma said, 'Don't write this poem. 
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones."
"There is no bruise like the bruise 
loneliness kicks into your spine
so let me tell you I know there are days
it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets
while you break down like the doors of their looted buildings.
You are not alone
in wondering who will be convicted of the crime
of insisting you keep loading your grief
into the chamber of your shame.

You are not weak
just because your heart feels so heavy."
"What I know about living 
is the pain is never just ours.
Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo,
so I keep listening for the moment the grief becomes a window,
when I can see what I couldn't see before
through the glass of my most battered dream
I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind
and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.

So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin
don't try to put me back in. 
Just say, "Here we are" together at the window
aching for it to all get better
but knowing there is a chance
our hearts may have only just skinned their knees,
knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dead Dreams & Friends

Here it is, guys. One of the best descriptions of our friendship. 

First of all, this is Maggie and yours truly. 

Maggie is such a memorable nerd that I can recall the exact day that we meant. Well, I might be able to recall it since it was my seventeenth birthday, AKA Our First Day Of College

I had started this blog the month before we met, for the partial purpose of chronicling my missions adventures, and by the 18th of August 2014, I had finished my first round of summer missions. Little did I know for the next two rounds I would be working with Maggie. 

Week 1.1

Middle Summer (Week 5?)

Debrief (end of week 10)

Oh, August 2015. How absolutely gross you were. Explanation throw-back blog post in this link to save time.

 Alright, friends. You see, Maggie and I have become The More Iconic Duo (sorry, internet humor) since working together for what was an extraordinarily long summer in 2015. Long hours and frustrating circumstance has made us better friends. Hey, gotta look for the good.
The two of us decided to jump in and be summer missionaries once more this year, and boy- what an adventure. 
The system that is a mission team can be quite interesting. On most teams there's the comic-relief, the one that the little kids crush on, the bossy, the "been there, done that," and boy- can I go on. But let me say this- Maggie is the comic relief. She can make any hard situation lighter. Instead of making this bit longer and heart-felt, I'll just tell you that every mission team needs a Maggie. 

We've seen each other through a lot. We've been right next to each other through the worst times. And- through these times, I've seen something about Maggie. She can translate her humor into her writing- and she does it SO WELL. Yet, in one moment, she can write the most real and heartfelt piece. 

Through our friendship, we've picked up some of each others likes and dislikes. I mean, she let me dye her hair and she made me into a bigger Beatles fan. We've sat next to each other on van rides all the way to Canada  

and all the way to a beautiful Florida beach. (Love you, Mexico Beach, FL) 

We've seen two of our favorite bands together. (Mountain Goats and Violent Femmes!!!)

Now, I've been known to bug people about making a blog- and if there is anyone worthy to bug regarding attaining one of these things, it's Maggie. As I've explained- she has something to say. For her to attain a platform like this would make for some indescribable reading. AND GUESS WHAT.

Finally I was annoying enough, and she caved. Maggie made a blog! You can find her HERE at Dead Dream Society.

At TRM you've gotten one side of the tale of the summer epic, but you can find another perspective on her blog. Check out her new post,


Saturday, December 3, 2016

You Were Cool

There's so much to say.

It's 1:35am right now and I've been thinking about writing since midnight, so I've finally given in. Plenty of thoughts have dug through my mind. Digging deeper, thinking about others complexly, tragedy, dialogue, etc etc etc. 

The Mountain Goats concert. 

Maggie is cool, we happen to send each other memes on a regular basis and watch shows about horror stories that are solidly American. One of our favorite bands happen to be a group named... The Mountain Goats. For months we knew that they were coming to 
and Maggie was oh-so-cool and bought me a ticket to this wondrous event. And so we went. 

The two of us had a few songs that we really extremely definitely hoped they would play.

Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how perfect this show was. One of my favorite things about TMG's music is the complexity to the lyrics and the fantastic guitar. Some songs hit hard, some are pure beauty, and some are just plain fun.

Please enjoy this pixelated POV shot. 

I can pin-point the day that Maggie and I began our mutual obsession. As procedure (as I am a license-less person with epilepsy) she was driving and I was playing music in the passenger seat. I played No Children, and the two of us perfectly belted this song.

Now, as they made their way through the set we heard some of our absolute favorites. 

"The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again." 
"Squint your eyes and hope real hard... maybe sprout wings."
"Insert all of the lyrics to lakeside view apartment suite here"

And after preforming a whole lot of music- seventeen songs- The Mountain Goats called it a night with Game Shows Touch Our Lives- "People say friends don't destroy one another, what do they know about friends?" 
And friends, thus began one of the greatest gifts I've been given. The opportunity to see a five-song encore. 

Maggie and I made it a point to enjoy ourselves. Dancing, singing, soaking everything in. We got the chance to hear the words "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me" live. 
The last song played? The same one that started us on the track that got us to where we were in that very moment. 

"And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away and I never come back to this town again." 

We left with matching t-shirts in our hands and a gift. 
We got to hear music with so much weight and beauty live. We got to do that. 
Thank you, John. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The $110 I'll Be Able to Keep Forever


And on Star Wars Day 2016 I got my first tattoo.


This was VERY spur-of-the-moment. I went in with one of my friends, and she received this tattoo, 

minus the arrow.

One thing that I was a bit nervous about was the fact that it was such a random decision. Yet, I felt at ease when I remembered my maple leaf idea had been one that I was thinking about for well over a year. 

Lets cut to it, Christian and tattooed!

Do you not like tattoos? That's PERFECTLY fine. Believe me. I don't like long hair, but you can go on and have that. I once was stuck listening to someone talk about how Christians don't have tattoos and how your body is a temple, which I quickly replied with my typical "I've never seen a temple without art," and they proceeded to inform me that tattoos aren't art, which reaffirmed my decision to write a paper on the definition of art. Art is the expression of human creativity- whether you like it or not. That concludes my salty but necessary bit. 

I am at ease with my tattoos. I love them, they represent many of the things that I adore. 
Yet, when it comes to my maple leaf, it's more than just a nod to Canada. 
For me, this trip was a solid miracle.
I got the chance to serve people far from home, and also I got the opportunity to be informed about the endless problems that first nations people have and do face. And I think this fact has shaped how I view the world now. It's honestly too long and intricate to explain. But Canada has changed me, and it's a result of a three year long period of praying. "God, I'll go anywhere, please send me." Here I am five trips north later. 

My maple leaf tattoo represents plenty. Faith, love, missions, Whitedog, Shoal Lake, and all of my friends that I've been able to meet. This is one tattoo that could have been copious tattoos.

 And I cherish it as a physical representation of so many things that make me me. 

Now for tattoo two. 

"And I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after the people that interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
-Jack Kerouac

I got this one with my brother, whose first tattoo is my beautiful niece's name.

This one, man. My tattoo ideas go like this typically:
Get idea of thing I want to tattoo to be for (example, Canada, Whitedog, etc)
Think of design
Decide- does anyone I know have it? Is it "mine"? What makes it different? 
Get tattoo. 

To explain this in a timely manner, I'll share my Instagram caption on a picture of this tattoo. 

I decided on this for many reasons. First of all, I wanted a Kerouac tattoo. For a long time I thought of many variations of a tattoo in honor of one of the founders of the beats. Then, there was the phrase. Mad to live. I get how Kerouac meant it, but one could give it many meanings. Mad? Does it mean enthusiastic? Insane? Then we get to the entire quote, which lists that the only people for him are the mad ones. For a long time I've admired many people who I would personally list as a "mad one." So this tattoo not only reminds me of Kerouac, but van Gogh, Chris McCandless, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, as well as many others. Finally we can come to who wrote it out for me, my mother. Enthusiastic to live: A reminder, a declaration; it means more than I can explain in words. So this is my second tattoo. I've been in love with it since well before I got it.

What's next? 

On my left arm, I'll most likely be getting "Under the sun" in my dad's handwriting. It may be written in Portuguese, and I checked the translation with a lovely friend of mine who fluently speaks it. This will represent many things, as is the theme with my tattoos. 
My favorite book in the bible, Ecclesiastes, which carried me through some times. Under the sun is one of the most repeated phrases throughout this book. In Portuguese, it would stand for my ancestors on dad's side- which would take care of my want to get a "Portuguese tattoo." My father will be writing it, as my mom did with mad to live. This represents so much, and I'm excited to get it. 

So here it is, the post I've been wanting to write for a long time. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Idea for the Unheard

You're halfway through what you wanted to say and you take a look around.

No one was listening.

You're talking to someone. They walk away.

They weren't listening.

You try and say something in a conversation.

Someone else talks over you.

I feel as though if I had any superpower, it's the power to not be heard. I know others feel like they have this superpower as well. It's pretty isolating, lonely, and annoying- but I guess someone had to be blessed with this. Maybe that's why I like writing? I just say what I want to say, press publish, maybe share it on social media, and that's it. Maybe someone comments, but there's no noise involved. With writing I can share everything I wish in a well-thought-out way, and there's no one there to blatantly ignore me. Hey, if you feel like you share my superpower you should write? Give it a chance.

There's a quote by Allen Ginsberg that really pertains to this subject.

"To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness."

Write stuff. Send it out into the world or keep it in your word documents. Maybe some people will read what you have to say, maybe people won't. At least you got to finish your sentence.

Friday, August 26, 2016

It Only Took 35 Years

Have you ever been in a massive concert venue?

You walk in and you have to take a moment to catch your breath. Thousands upon thousands of people gathered to enjoy the same music that you love. It's concert time. 

People. People. People. You have to weave your way through large crowds to get to your seat, which is unfortunately up very high in the stands and you can't really see, but you're there. You have been counting down the days since you found out they were playing near you, and you're just beyond happy that you made it there.  

Oh, delays. Don't put all of your faith in technology. One of the bands sets were messed up due to whatever, so the concert will be longer than expected. You're sweating unbelievably, and you're trying to formulate a plan to maybe move to that one row of seats that have been empty for quite a few songs. You re-check the set list for the time the band you came to see will be playing. 10pm. Okay.

You decide that since you have some cash in your wallet (for what seems like the first time in eternity) you'll go check the merch tables. Once again, you're weaving your way through crowds of people in the humid city air. You notice people wearing shirts for the band you came to see. A lady high-fives you as you continue your way through the crowd. The sense of togetherness fills your heart with joy. You missed concerts.

With no luck in the merchandise department, you make it back to your seats. The time ticks by, slowly but surely. Before you know it, it's time for the last band to play before who you came to see hits the stage. Their set list ticks by slowly but surely. Your band will be playing soon.

In my case, this band was the Violent Femmes, and it wasn't really my band. I love them, sure. I'm actually listening to their second album at the moment. But, it's mom I bought these tickets for. This band has been around since her early high school days, and she's wanted to see them play ever since their first album came out, 1983.

So, as the band that played before the Violent Femmes wrapped up, my mom, dad, best friend, and myself walked to a better seat that had remained empty the whole show.

This is it.

They should be playing any minute now.
And there goes the guitar...
When I'm out walking...
Blister In the Sun. 
I need someone, a person to talk to...
Kiss Off.
Do you like American music?
American Music.
Why you coming round?
I'm gnawing on the knowledge that I have been burnt...
I Held Her In My Arms.
Beautiful girl, lovely dress...
Gone Daddy Gone.
Oh, I could be this or I could be that...
I Could Be Anything.
I don't remember anything you said...
Day, after day...
Add It Up.


There's something I can't quite explain about being part of the crowd as the Violent Femmes played. I sat between my mom and best friend, and got to hear my mom sing every word. I got to sing along a bit as well. Mom asked me to video tape some songs, I did. But, beyond my mom who finally got to see her favorite band, I noticed the crowd around me.

I saw people who looked to be about my mom's age singing along, video-taping, cheering loudly.

I thought of how lovely it may have been for people. To be able to see a band that's been around since the early 80's absolutely rock a set. To see a band they may have liked since high school play some new songs. I thought of my mom who has liked the band since '83. Who picked up the album in Germany when she was serving in the army.

I thought of how fun it was for me to enjoy nine songs by the Violent Femmes, and I felt a great joy for all the people, including my mom, who were finally able to see them live.

They wrapped up with Add It Up.

We picked up and left before the headliner. We saw all we wanted, and a drive home was in our future.

Their new album played in the car radio as dad navigated the city traffic back to northern Missouri.