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?
Issues.
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...
Memory.
Day, after day...
Add It Up.

Gooooooooooooodnight!!!!!

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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Just Shut up and Be There


There are no words sometimes. And that's okay. 

I'm sure you've heard a story. The kind that makes your stomach churn. Where you can feel the tears brimming, and you're just sick with grief and sorrow. Maybe it was a story you heard. Maybe you were a character in it. I don't know. 

Missions, man. I've been on the outside and the inside of these stories. As a missionary, I've sat and listened to many people young and old tell of their past, these tales have left me with no words, just tears and a deep, deep sorrow. 

And goodness gracious, that's okay. Sometimes when people express traumatic events, they don't need trite and trivial phrases that they already know. 

They just need someone who will be there for them. 

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." 
Romans 12:15

When you find yourself in a situation with someone who has experienced a deep hurt, please for the sake of everything think before you speak. 

Sometimes all they need is a shared perfect silence. Or a hug. Or a Netflix marathon. Or all three. 
Just shut up and be there. 


Saturday, May 28, 2016

See You Later, Whitedog



                 
       Hello, Again.



       This time I'm using my own words.


         
                                                             Dear, dear Wabaseemoong, 



                            You have changed me. I mean, I have a maple leaf tattooed on my ankle.



                                Your stories have changed my heart, worldview, and life. 



                                                      Your smiles have made my day. 
                


                                                 I have been given a sense of direction. 



                             I have been given so much from my experiences on Whitedog. 



                                                                   I pray for peace. 



                                                             I thank God for friends.



                                                I thank God for every soul that I've met.



                                    Your welcoming spirits have made an everlasting impact.



                                                           Miigwetch, Wabaseemoong. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

The Current Music Playlist

Isaiah 45:23 - The Mountain Goats
Snow Crush Killing Song - The Mountain Goats
I'll Be Seeing You - Billie Holiday
Dead Sea - The Lumineers 
Five Years - David Bowie
Complainte de la Butte - Rufus Wainwright
Control - Halsey
I Fought the Law - Dead Kennedys 
Blister In the Sun - Violent Femmes
You Were Cool - The Mountain Goats

Movies

Moulin Rouge
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 
Star Wars (1-7)
Les Miserables
Selma

Movies (Available on Netflix!)

A Long Way Down
Silver Linings Playbook
Into The Wild
Grease
Before I Disappear
Philomena
About Alex
On The Road
Beginners
Trainspotting
Across The Universe
Heathers

Shows (Available on Netflix!)

The X-Files
Long Way Down
Long Way Round
Parks and Recreation
Daredevil 
Law & Order: SVU

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Something Interesting That Makes a Lot of Sense: INFP

I'm pretty sure this all started from me seeing a Star Wars character personality type picture edit thing.

So, I was slightly familiar with a thing called the Myers-Briggs personality test.

So, I took it.

After answering a decent amount of questions, I was presented with my personality type. INFP. After presented with my type, it proceeded with explaining a lot about people with the INFP personality type. I think I went into it the same way that I read my horoscope, which is Leo, and which is 99.9 percent of the time wrong. But, as I kept reading what this explanation of INFP's had to offer me, I couldn't stop myself from agreeing with the majority of it.

This has been on my mind for the past week, so I wanted to share. Here's a little bit of what the site had to offer about my personality type:

"Unlike their extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause- spread too thinly, they'll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can't fix." (16personalities.com)

"If they are not careful, INFP's can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. INFPs often drift into deep thought, enjoying and contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into "hermit mode", and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back into the real world.

Luckily, like the flowers in the spring, INFP's affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness, and beauty wherever they go." (16personalities.com)

For more about the INFP personality type, go here.

That's just a fraction of what the site had to offer me. As I kept on reading, I could only keep agreeing. I felt like someone looked inside my brain and took an awful amount of notes. One thing that REALLY got me, though, was the list of celebrity INFPs that I found.

Now its no secret that I'm a fan of "the mad ones."


When I say mad ones, I am referring to this quote by the great Jack Kerouac. I've actually had a post about this before. When I think of the mad ones, I think of the misunderstood. I think of the people who felt deeply- I think of the kind of person that you can talk to until the early hours of the morning. I think of eccentrics. I think of the people who thirst for adventure. I can go on. So, I have this general list of mad ones who I adore. Some of these would be Jack Kerouac, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe, and Chris McCandless.

NOW HERE'S THE KICKER!

Most of these people whose words I find refuge in share my personality type. As I scrolled down the list, I saw Vincent and Poe, and as I did a bit of research Kerouac was said to have the INFP personality and it is said that McCandless was INFP.

So, as I dwelled on these facts (and some possibility) I began to piece together some thoughts. First of all, everything made sense. Second of all, I realized why I felt understood by their thoughts. It really just blew me away.

After some searching I found some pretty great fictional INFPs: Luke Skywalker, Fox Mulder, E.T. (I HAVE AN ALIEN PERSONALITY, DUDE.)

Some other famous INFPs include: J.R.R. Tolkein, Franz Kafka, Shakespeare, Hans Christian Anderson, Homer, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and also Marlon Brando, who due to a lovely family member of mine doing Ancestry DNA, I found out that he is (if I pieced it correctly in my head) my distant cousin.

I'll get more into Ancestry DNA stuff when my results come back (yes I spent too much money on a thing that allowed me to spit in a vial and send it to a lab just to tell me I'm pretty much a portagee, let me live my life).

To sum it up (famous last words), I took this test, and although it has been called unreliable, I felt understood. Also, it explained my love for many of my favorites.

I strongly encourage you to take the test and see what you may find out about yourself.

As the site says, "Its so incredible to finally be understood."

Take the test HERE.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Florida, Fifth Year, and Fundraising.

And so the time is here.

Wow, it's been a while. Since I last wrote I lived through some pretty beautiful things. First of all, I got to go to a wonderful town in Florida for a week. Mexico Beach was an amazing experience. Not only did I get to meet the Gulf for the first time, but I got to spend some time with some of the best people that I ever had the chance to meet. Sitting in the First Baptist Church of Mexico Beach I experienced the purest joy there is, and I really could not do anything but laugh. Someday soon I may make a picture post about that trip. Also, after Florida I can finally say that I have been to Canada, I have touched The Atlantic, Pacific, and The Gulf of Mexico. Also, on the way there my "States I've Been To" list made it to 31.

Guess what. Big news, THIRTY DAYS UNTIL CANADA!!!

I'm kind of super extremely excited. I think that's the only proper way to explain it. First of all, I can't believe that this is the FIFTH YEAR I'm heading north. Five years. Five. Wow. Also, I love Whitedog with all my heart so I'm BEYOND excited to be back in a place so amazing. One thing I ask is if you can, pray for the area. Pray for Kenora, Ontario and the surrounding reservations. There has been two young girls that have been found dead within the past month and a half in Kenora. It's beyond devastating to hear that two young teenagers have been lost, and just pray for true peace.

Also, THIS. From what I understand, there is a suicide crisis on at least two reservations in Ontario and Manitoba. A couple groups are sending encouraging letters/cards up to these places, and I'm joining them in that. I encourage you to send something out if you can.

Now for the final news. I got accepted as a Summer Missionary once again! One of my problems, though, is trying to make the money for everything needed. I made a fundraising page, and if you are able to help out I would be beyond grateful. The funds will be going to my fifth Canada trip and any overflowing funds will go to my St. Louis trip and other mission trips I will be going on as a summer missionary. Here's the LINK.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read. A picture post from Mexico Beach should be coming soon!