The Tears That Wet My Face

Translucent pearls hung on a tightly woven thread
The craft of a spiders singular cunning on display
The tears of a melancholy morning shimmer in the light
A ray of light once gold, turned grey, worn and worried
Thick clouds bound together deny the sky its hue
Downcast with the heavy burden borne on winter’s eve
No eye does claim a hopeful glance to heavens vault
But mine alone, resolute in faith, unwavering in gaze
God himself provides the tears that wet my face

I’m really missing Denny Bradshaw

Just going over my blog posts from when I was taking his Metaphysics course in the Fall of 2004. Man, he was a good educator, someone I looked up to and, yes, even admired. He taught me a lot more than what was just in the classroom, and I am sure he played an important role in the formation of my own attitudes and ambitions towards both philosophy and education.

I wish you were still here Denny. I would love to be able to talk to you again and get your wise counsel.

God answers

Psalm 3:4 I cry unto Jehovah with my voice, And he answereth me out of his holy hill. Selah

Hear my cry O God, and answer me when you hear my voice. Do not shut up your heavens like brass doors, but throw open the gates of your mercy and send forth your comforting word at the sound of my tears. Selah

A hard balance

It is a difficult thing, to be interested in philosophy and to care for the concerns of those who do not share that interest. I don’t think I have really figured out how to do it yet, since I keep falling and causing damage in my stumbling. Actually, I wonder now if there even is a balance that I could strike. I am beginning to doubt that there is. There is no way for me, who and what I am, to be that satisfying balance. The only solution, it appears, is to become someone else, and I haven’t figured out how to do that in an intentional manner. I can see how my person has drifted, changed with the passage of time, but to shape it in ways that are contrary to what I think and believe now? I don’t know how it can be done. Some people prescribe what amounts to a combination of brainwashing and wishful thinking, but it seems like such a sad existence, to keep pressing my square self against the round hole in the hopes that sometime in the future, a most uncertain future indeed, I will eventually fit in that round hole and be happy with my existence. I am not allowed to be happy with who I am at the moment. I am not allowed to be a square in a world of round pegs. Indeed, it feels like the world is hammering on me as I write this, to conform, to be like everyone else. I ask why, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I do not fit, and that the round pegs around me are not happy with this unsettled state of affairs. I no longer know what I should do, to lose love and happiness because I am me and not someone else. What a cold, dark, world this is, that it produces children that it doesn’t want. What a mockery of a loving God to be who I am and find that this means I have lost my place in creation, in the order of the universe. I guess the hammering must be working, because I can feel myself sadly struggling to fit in my round hole, and hoping that the sadness will eventually go away.

Laughter with our Tears

I saw it first within your eyes
the embers of your joy annulled
and now it’s cold within your heart
like frozen blocks of icy hate
and bleeding warmth from all you see
until the world is desolate
an empty husk barren of hope
and what surrounds is black and dead
But this is not the world I see
a world alive with vibrant greens
the whispered words of God on winds
that blow through these chattering trees
or the warm earth beneath my hand
after the sun has graced our land
with light to play another day
Which vision shall we take as truth
Whose eyes can tell us what is real
The truth lies not in you or me
But somewhere in between the two
For while it’s true that sorrows rule
has not been cast off quite of yet
It is the case that life keeps pace
and gives us laughter with our tears

Reflections on Cowboy Bebob and other Phenomena

I’ve been thinking about Cowboy Bebob, and how typically 90’s it is. In fact, I think that Japanese anime from that period is one of the best encapsulations of that era, that generation that came of age in the 90’s and the zeitgeist that informed this generation. There is sort of a bleak irony that permeates the thought of that period, a sadness at the world around them and a pessimism at the prospects the future holds. The anti-hero, dystopian settings, and tragic endings; the 90’s didn’t invent these things, but they did seem to have been refined, or at least embraced, in that period and by the generation that grew up during it.

And it is so easy, especially for those who grew up in this atmosphere, to think that this dark vision of the world, this eye for sadness, somehow bears with it a more realistic view of the world, a certain truthfulness that resists the polyannishness of more optimistic perspectives. This is not true, and no one should believe it. There is no more truthful or less truthful paradigm. That isn’t to say that there cannot be lies, for not all facts are borne as easily in one perspective as in another, and it is a truth that there is not always sorrow. There is joy in the world, moments, even periods, of levity and gaity. But we choose to emphasis one and down play the other, to see one experience as defining and another as temporary, an outlier of life.

It could just as easily go one way as the other, and there is no reason for choosing either other than that we believe one and not the other. I have no other argument for seeing things this way other than it resonates with me. And why should it do that other than personal temperment combined with shapings from social environment. What a tragedy, a generation of brooding, irony laden, pessimists who can’t believe in hope because it presents an affront with their bleak and jaded sense of style. But I shouldn’t be too condemning, for it is a beautiful, poetic tragedy, as profoundly grounded in the reality of human experience as any other perspective.

But not any more profound. It does not imbue the thinker with greater insight than any other paradigm. You can be just as shallow and ignorant in your pessimism as you can be in your optimism. I recognize the need to strive towards a balanced, and deeper, approach to life. And if I cannot manage that, at least let my skewed perspective be balanced by the realization that it is no more or less real than any other perspective on life, to at least strive to preserve an honest effort toward truthfulness, whether it bears well with my views or not. Perhaps this too is a mark of my generation, this burning desire for earnestness, but I doubt it. I think it is a universal attribute and can be characteristic of optimism and hope as it is for those with grimmer world views.

So, let the darkness be held at bay, if not by hope than at least by truth. And if not truth, than at least an earnest and open pursuit of the truth, which is a kind of hope in and of itself. Amen.