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  • Category Archives Matters of the Heart
  • a dark Holy Saturday

    I miss the open mics. I miss hugs and gentle touch. I miss restaurant ice cubs at the bottom of a diet coke that you can suck on without the middle tasting like chlorine. It seems like the world has been burning so long it’s hard to remember a time where we could just ignore the News and there was no consequence for doing so. Or hear another headline and just be stopped in your tracks. Also whenever I get an alert tone on my phone that used to be for Amber alerts but now is for governor’s alerts I think this is the big one, this is the time the nukes from God knows where are headed for us.

    hard times
    produce soft dicks

    When someone you love cuts you off
    It’s like never getting to finish a good book

    people are the opposite of prisms
    because it’s beams of darkness
    that bring out their true colors

    people for whom life is to be enjoyed
    push this idea for those lower down
    that one is conscripted into life
    and you should just shut the fuck up
    no matter how bad things get

    people who romanticize suffering
    never romanticize its byproducts
    dole, derision, desertion, and death

    evil is like taking a shit
    it feels good to you but no one else

    people tell me “anything can happen”
    as if that is a good thing

    the worse your mental health
    the more your religious expression
    either rounds up to psychosis
    or rounds down to deism

    GOD IS IN HEAVEN?
    WE COULD SURE AS FUCK USE HIM DOWN HERE

    God didn’t die
    they were STOLEN

    God’s despair is cathartic
    Even as religious people say ours is sin

    I know
    i was poor in all of my past lives
    and whatever ends up happening to me
    i will be poor and with fellow messed up people
    on earth, in heaven, in purgatory, and in hell

    living in the moment is difficult
    when you know the worst is yet to be

    we aren’t begging for a loaf of bread
    we just need a trail of crumbs
    to lead us out of the cave

    we call it daymares
    when your waking moments
    are worse than anything your feeble mind could conjure in sleep
    in the back of our minds we always knew it would end
    but it’s still hard when it’s ending this way in front of our eyes
    when you fire up the news
    looking back on the destruction
    it turns you into a pillar of salt

    i have this convention
    from my journals as a kid
    that the easy times are written about marker
    and the hard ones in pen or pencil
    in 8th grade
    in the recess area that was all cement
    and in the locker room in gym class
    being pushed into a urinal on two different days
    i have always been a poor example for Christians
    because i never learned anything from suffering
    only the light let in sustained me
    like the Krakle and Mr. Goodbar every week
    on the welcome mat for hungry 8th grade paper boy me
    or an acquaintance sticking up for me in the locker room in gymn class
    these small kindnesses
    were the harrowing of hell

    we may melt away
    before coronavirus does
    night is coming when no one can work
    but come to think of it
    we didn’t really appreciate the day
    so its nautical twilight
    to a truly dark Holy Saturday
    the Father was the sun
    the Son was the sunrise
    and the Spirit was the atmosphere
    that held in the warmth and breath
    and spread out the light

    (and this is the one I sometimes read at the open mic when it is Maundy Thursday)

    the thief comes only to kill and destroy
    do not fear those who kill the body and after that have nothing more they can do
    who touched me, i felt the power go out of me
    be clean
    even the hairs on your head are numbered
    she has done what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare for my burial

    are you going to leave me too
    how i wanted to gather you in my wing like a chicken gathers her chicks
    my children, i will be with you only a little longer
    where i go you cannot come
    she has done what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare for my burial

    i lay down my life for my sheep
    wash my feet with your tears
    Why do you seek the living among the dead?
    i saw the devil fall from the sky like lightening
    how i wanted to gather you in my wing like a chicken gathers her chicks



  • Looking Good

    During some of the worst parts of my life I have had some strange desires, mainly to LOOK BETTER! I know this is shallow but I have been so lonely for so long and looking better was the main way you got a girlfriend (especially in my early 20’s when I felt this the most). I don’t think people appreciate looking good for all it’s worth.

    It sucks that I’m turning 40 and I never had a girlfriend. And a lot of that is due to the fact that I don’t look good. Now in my early 20’s it was directly due to that but now it’s indirect, due to my visible physical disability keeping me from being a vocational success (which keeps me poor and undesirable).

    We are socialized with this myth that “it’s the inside that counts” and that does come into play in keeping a relationship going but to get it started you need to look good and make decent money.



  • Suffering Being For The Good?

    Christians are no doubt revving their engines to romanticize suffering as America approaches one of its darkest hours. I have the view that suffering is unequivocally bad and take offense at those trying to find silver linings in my clouds. That being said the reason I believe suffering to be bad is because it has not been redemptive for me. Basically my life pattern is my visual impairment disability produced pain which, along with abuse, produced mental illness and those put together kept me from being a net gain for society. What I have suffered has also been incredibly isolating and people have dropped out of my life like flies as time has worn on.

    I think the only good that comes out of suffering is the good you and those around you bring into it. If your are surrounded by assholes suffering will destroy you like it did me in my first psychotic break (which gave me a lifetime of bipolar 1). But if you are in a good environment (which Christians romanticizing suffering jump the gun and assume) and you pull together and meet trials with the courage required to be beat them, you will be wounded but not destroyed. Suffering is generally redeemed communally or not at all because courage doesn’t happen in a vacuum and when people act courageously they need to lean on the supports of others around them.

    Suffering can give the individual things like enhanced empathy but not really anything that could be “cashed out” in this society where you are seen as little more than commodity. But the things successfully getting to the other side of suffering give you will help you function in a close knit group.



  • Data: Our Best Defense

    As COVID-19 continues to progress we are going to have to utilize the data already being collected about all of us by Google, Facebook, and other internet companies. This is understandably going to raise some privacy concerns but in these times we are going to have to sacrifice some privacy for our security and especially for the sake of those more medically vulnerable to succumbing to COVID-19.

    As soon as someone finds out they’re infected we could have a system that flags them as so in the various internet companies’ databases. Then their past tracked movements could be reconstructed and appropriate people could be warned. Obviously, it would be impractical to warn everyone someone came into contact with, but these contact points could still be used in a data model that could be mined to spot patterns of spread. If testing were to get precise enough to detect a timeframe of infection this could also be fed into the model.

    China is turning the tide on COVID-19 no doubt due to their heavy reliance on digital surveillance and data mining. We don’t have to go to the extremes of China but we must do more than we are doing now. The police in America are already using Google location data to pinpoint bystanders who may have been witnesses to shootings. Because so much data is being collected about us this could be rolled out retroactively when there was enough political will for it to be implemented.

    There is no cure for COVID-19 so for now data is our best defense.



  • On Verbal Abuse

    Verbal abuse hurts the most when it is accurate.  People fed a diet of modern psychology wish to write off all abusive communications because the ill will of the person dishing out said abuse.  But the more wrong you have with you the more likely verbal abuse flung at you is going to be accurate.  For example I had a best friend years ago that called me pathetic.  Had I made something of my self that abuse would not have hurt so much.  Another girl on cutting me off said I was painfully awkward.  Also accurate.

    Pastors and psychologists generally have enough of their lives together not to have the verbal abuse slung at them be accurate.  But those of us lower down this is not the case.  And the cognitive tricks and platitudes helping professionals parrot don’t help us.



  • Forgiveness and Experience

    People get forgiveness wrong.  In a wrong strong enough not to forgive generally the person wronged has people not forgiving them for the fallout of said wrong.  I’ve had people wrong me in the past that have precipitated the destruction of my mental health.  I can pretend to forgive them but I know it’s bull shit.  To me forgiveness is like two plus two equals banana.  You can play cognitive tricks and smoke and mirror a poker face and be cordial but at the end of the day when nobody will forgive you for the fallout of the wrong (treating you like shit because you’re mentally ill) you can’t forgive them unless “God” enables you to (which for me would just mean I’d have to be constantly manic).

     

    There is a sense to which experiences are more meaningful when they happen communally.  For example in the 2016 election experiencing the hope and ultimate despair of people at the All Access open mic made the whole experience more real.  I don’t have that open mic anymore so no matter what happens in 2020 there won’t be that hope or shoulder to cry on.  I will be experiencing everything as an an atomized individual so whatever happens the joy or the sorrow will be more empty.



  • Disability Post

    If there is something visibly different about you (as a disability often produces) it is incumbent upon you to put the room at ease with your difference some how. If you don’t, you will be rejected and ostracized. With Christianity this damage control needs to be done at a deeper level as well. Disability is one of the chinks on the armor of Evangelical Christianity because it’s a combination of the expression of the problem of evil which isn’t easy to ignore and the lack of autonomy and prosperity that gets you reviled in Conservative Christian contexts (just look at the Medicaid work requirement to see how these people think about our right to healthcare).

    If you follow the Evangelical Christian system it’s almost imperative that you objectify folks with disabilities and project your redemptive suffering narratives upon them because the alternative works like an armor-of-God piercing bullet through the faith. In this context Wheaton’s Faith and Disability initiative the way it is makes perfect sense. One of the reasons the younger generations are leaving the faith in droves is more of them have disabilities and mental illnesses and the canned answers coming from Christianity are falling flat.



  • poetry on the bride of Christ

    if i were an organ in the body of Christ
    it would be the appendix
    because i make the rest of the members of the body so uncomfortable
    they cut me right out

    when the church abdicates the responsibility to care for the poor
    and the government steps in and takes its place
    Christians are livid and try to cut that government programs
    while letting those affected by the cuts whither on the vine

    if God was close to the people nobody talked to in church
    they would be talked to in church

    at best, Christians would say
    suffering metabolizes personality into character
    well guess what,
    character doesn’t get you talked to at church

    People with disabilities are kryptonite for prayer
    We bring the total success score of the church’s prayers down

    whether you are treated well in church
    depends on whether you ADD TO God
    or SUBTRACT FROM him

    when the church, God, and the devil are all saying the same things to me
    i know all thr33 fuckers are lying
    (that’s why they don’t let me around 17 story ledges)

    the part of the body of Christ that usually holds the power
    is the asshole



  • 6 Harsh Truths

    One of the best summaries of conservationism I have ever read:

    Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create — be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship — you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they’ll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

    Well I’m screwed.  Thank you very much.  Because of a visible physical disability as well as invisible ones my main avenue for showing my virtuosity is independent projects.  Once I was promoting my Bible project and the people on the site tore me a new one.



  • The Supernatural

    it’s difficult to believe in the supernatural
    unless they’re going after you

    I believe our brain blocks out the supernatural the same way a neurotypical’s brain blocks out extraneous stimuli.  Of course this is offensive to philosophical materialists as well as Christians principally because I have a very negative view of the supernatural, it is like living on the street where predators notice you and will swarm.  This helps make sense of why mental illness was seen as direct action by the devil or his charges in premodern times.  Because when you are mentally ill the ability to filter out the supernatural breaks down so the worst of it are everywhere.  It also explains why demon possessed people had more insight on the supernatural like seeing Jesus as the son of God.  Of course I don’t think mental illness is demon possession, just that it makes you more vulnerable to negative spiritual forces.

    From a philosophical materialist’s perspective there is concrete evidence that mental illness makes one feel like they are experiencing supernatural forces.  That’s why I wrote the poem:

    shaving is just cutting yourself in a socially acceptable way
    just as religion is being crazy in a socially acceptable way