Poem – Sad birds

Not every baby bird
learns how to fly.

Not every story
has a storybook ending.

Sometimes the ending
is the ending
and not a beginning.

It is healthy to know this.

It is part of knowing
what is,
of accepting
the truth.

Sometimes people
can’t
won’t
don’t.

Sometimes things break
and stay broken.

Really?

I know a lady who is constantly saying “Really?” It isn’t used to say that something is truly that way, or to express surprise. It is used in an exasperated way. It is used as a way to express frustration. She does this several times a day, sometimes several times an hour.

The weird thing is that she is a grandmother. She is old enough not to say “Really?” all the time. It sounds so immature. It sounds that way because it is.

It isn’t the word that is the issue – it is the thought behind the word. She says “Really?” because she’s constantly upset that her version of reality doesn’t match up with actual reality. She’s constantly being unpleasantly surprised about how her version of real isn’t really real.

The trick is that she needs to adapt her reality to what reality actually is or she will constantly be upset.

Really.

Movies that make you question reality

Ones I’ve seen and enjoyed –

Dark City
The Matrix
The Prestige
Total Recall
Existenz
Abre Los Ojos / Vanilla Sky
Alice in Wonderland (Anything except Disney versions)
Memento
Inception
Orlando

Ones that other people have recommended for this category but I’ve not seen yet or don’t remember well enough –

Cube
The 13th Floor
Videodrome
Jacob’s Ladder
12 Monkeys
Sphere
Minority Report
The City of Lost Children
Hitchcock – Spellbound
Equilibrium
Kurosawa – Rashômon

So, if you want to inspire a sense of alternate reality without doing drugs, watch a few of these back to back.

Real vs. Digital

The more time I spend with social media, the less I have for other things. I know this, yet I seem to be unable to wrench myself away. I like to check in and see how my friends are doing and what is going on in the world, but I feel like there is too much noise to signal ratio. I have to wade through a lot of stuff to get to the useful bits.

How did I keep up with what was going on before? How did any of us? We did, surely, but we have forgotten the gentle arts of keeping in touch without social media. We used to call or write. We used to make time to see each other. Now that we have the ability to let all of our friends know instantly what we are doing, somehow we don’t have, or make, the time to actually have anything worth talking about.

It is like the difference between roll film and digital film. When we only had 24 shots to the roll, we were careful with our photos. We took the time to choose something interesting, to frame it nicely, and to make sure it was in focus and the exposure was good. Now, with digital film we can take thousands of pictures but only a handful will be actually worthwhile.

With digital lives, we are doing the same thing.

Poem – the way of the zombie

Zombies and the way.
The Way of zombies.

Bring meat in breath. Being meat that breathes
pray the Lord has a hard drive.

It is a long road home.

Anywhere you sleep the second night
the bed will be harder.
The benefits of this is that the way home
is me saying
You are the way.

You are the way
once you wake up.

We are all zombies.
We are all dead.

We are animated meat, my friends.

Unplug yourself to come alive.
That TV, that movie, that fashion, that style,
they chain you down, tie you up,
leave you breathless and brainless

Zombies, all of us.

Turn it off
to turn inward
and outward
and onward.

Disconnect to connect.

Skeletons in the middle class
Home page
Home run
Run away
Wake up.
Come alive.
Come outside.

The water is wonderful.

Let me baptize you
with your own tears
you’ve kept inside
for so long.

Sheep.

There is the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus as the shepherd goes after the one. Every one is important. This lesson is used to remind us of how much God loves us. He cares for us personally, intimately, wholeheartedly.

There is a concern I’m hearing about me leaving church. It is the concern that I am the lost sheep. The only problem with that is that I’m not a sheep. Or maybe I am – it depends on your definition of sheep.

Most people feel that sheep are very docile. They are seen as soft and sweet. In the cartoons they are depicted with big smiles. Sheep need a shepherd because they aren’t smart enough to get where they should be on their own.

In that sense, of course people should worry about me. In that sense, I’m a danger to myself if I wander. I could get lost. I could get hurt. I could fall into a ravine. Or worse, I could wander around aimlessly and never return.

This image of sheep is a false image. Have you ever gotten face to face with a sheep? They are not fluffy and sweet. They are fierce. They will face you down if you dare to get in their area. Sheep are not what you think. They are so much more.

When I went to Great Britain with my aunt we spent a lot of time in the country. We saw sheep from afar mostly, but one time I wanted to see a Roman ruin that was in the middle of a pasture. Those sheep were not happy with me being there. They faced me off. Sheep don’t smile. They glower. That was a terrifying experience. And an enlightening one. It let me know from personal experience that everything I’d been told about sheep wasn’t true, in the least.

Sheep need a shepherd? No. Sheep are able to get by just fine on their own, thank you very much. It is more honest to say that the shepherd needs the sheep. The sheep are his livelihood. He trains them to be dependent on him so that they don’t get ideas about wandering.

Jesus says that his sheep know his voice. They come to him when he calls. Have you ever thought that when a person leaves a church it is for that very reason? They don’t hear their master’s voice in that church. They leave because they want to follow Jesus, and they realize they aren’t hearing him while stuck inside a building, going through the same old rituals that have been performed for 2000 years.

I’m not saying that folks in my old church aren’t getting what they need there. I’m saying that I’m not. I’m saying that the closer I get to Jesus, the further I want to run from church. All church. The entire idea of church. But I don’t want church as it is. Church as it is feels dead. The Body is on life support. It isn’t alive.

I want community. I want sharing. I want natural growth and support. I want there to be no leader. I want everybody to participate. I want no money to be used for this. I want people to work hard on their faith and their life. I want people to listen to each other honestly and with caring. I want dialogue. I want people to feel free to share their different viewpoints.

Hurray for sheep. They aren’t what you think they are. They are much more.