Monday, December 30, 2013

Forgetting Who We Are

When we lose ourselves in what is going on around us, we give everything over to whoever wants to trample on us. We might as well have forgotten our own names. We become everyone around us and not a single bit of who we actually are. We forget ourselves as easily as we forget our dreams.

New Years celebration is about starting something new. I am new. I become new everyday. There is still old in me and some of the old rots in me like a corpse, but the new overcomes. My hope is that I can always be new. I want to progress. If I am the same next year as I was this year, I have failed and my faith is weak. I don't want to forget myself. The person I am is based in passion and zeal. I don't want to become one of "Them."

"Them" is a breed of people that have, over time, forgotten that everything around us is spoiling. They forgot that life is in Christ and not in whatever our culture pimps as happiness. American culture is the whore that threatens to rape us of our souls. Faith. Strength. Compassion. Sacrifice. Look at a soldier and tell him of the American way of life after he has spent three Christmases in Afghanistan dodging car bombs. We consume and worry about what doesn't matter. Life is more than what you can purchase. Life is lived in the moments of silence.

Today while trying to teach my kids what a harmony is in music, I played a song I used to teach Will harmonies several years ago. It was a bad time of year to be playing that song, but the harmonies are perfect in it. I had spent hours in the garage with Will teaching him how to sing a harmony using this song. I played it tonight and was back in that garage again. It was a sudden and unexpected flood of emotion. I held it back as always, but it made itself tonight for me.

That night when I was confident that Will had learned how to do a harmony as a bass player, we wrote a song called "Toilet Paper Rockets." The original lyrics are buried with him, but the concept was that you can travel back into time, but you can never get back who you were. Bad or good. We played this song only once and Will got scared and failed to do the harmonies. His heart was in the way he looked at me across the stage when he had failed.

Failure is about learning. When we fail, we learn how not to fail. We move on keeping who we are and are stronger. When we give up, we lose ourselves and wander into the abyss that has become humanity.


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


And the tears broke through when there was no one there to sweep them up. Above the rafters a beam of light that made it's way 2000 light years from the hallway of Heaven, pinched it's way through the crack in the plywood and into every dark place that existed. What was hardened was smashed into tiny colorful shards of glass that reflected the light perfectly for anyone who would open their eyes to see. All of the sudden, the broken reached their feet again to find warmth more soothing than the sun. They lifted their faces to the heavens to see what was above. They found nothing but light so bright it burned their eyes to keep reaching. Some gave up and closed their eyes, refusing to see beyond the other side of it. Yet others closed their eyes, but could not stop themselves from trying to find the source of the warmth that lit up their entire lives. For those that kept searching, their anguish was overshadowed by the colors and beauty that seemed to reach them every time they were about to give up, seeming to remind them that this desperation was of God and hope was on the other side. For those who gave in and slept, hope kept knocking...and knocking.


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, December 21, 2013

You Will Want to Stop...Don't

I've been running a lot for the past 6 months. I think I can't stay away from the feeling of balance and gratitude I get when I have to fight, and win.

Today it was raining freezing water onto the earth by my house. I got home from work dreading the feeling of ice cold water dripping down the middle of my back, paralyzing me with that awful bone chill. I put on my shoes and my gamer wife strapped on hers too, even when she was sick today. We set off for 5 miles in this mess. During my first quarter mile I stepped in my first huge puddle and filled my shoes with cold gelatinous fluid hell bent on wrapping it's tentacles around each individual toe and strangling it to death. I then repeated the puddle incident over and over for the next 48 minutes. When I got home, I got in the shower filled with endorphins from my victory over the elements and my own personal discomfort. As I was feeling the stabbing pain of my sensation coming back into my toes as the hot water thawed them, I had a thought. Very rare thought. It is when the conditions are uncomfortable that you really learn to fight. When you are wanting out and fight to the death you build perseverance. This is mental training. These are the times that you really get the good stuff. You may hate it at the time, but when it's over and you are still standing, you realize that there isn't much that can stop you. Philippians 4:13 becomes a real reality as you have just caught a glimpse of beating your body into submission.

The wise runner will lace them up in 6 inches of snow, icy sidewalks and trails, freezing rain, staggering wind, the dead of night, the mist of the morning, in anger and sadness, when ill, when exhausted from a horrendous day at work, when your legs hurt, and especially when you want to give up. These are the very moments that train you to push on both to the next mile and in your life.

Then I had another rare thought. This isn't just about running. Paul wrote about beating your body into submission as a runner does to train for a race, and uses it as a metaphor for pressing on in your faith. Life gets really hard. Many times, you are gonna want to give up, don't. Keep moving forward. In these hard times, make it a point to face the discomfort head on with tenacity. If you usually run 4, run five when it really hurts. When you sin, don't live in your guilt. Get up, realize your folly, confess it, put it away, and move forward. It's gonna be uncomfortable and the pain in your spine is parylizing, but remember that these moments are golden. This is where you build perseverance. This perseverance builds true wisdom.


Thanks for reading...Z

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Four years today since I last saw him; His birthday. He turned 32 on that day.

Happy birthday where you are now my big brother.

Sometimes you don't have anything nice to say, but you can't just NOT say anything at all. Sometimes things need to be recognized despite the sadness they bring. Sometimes when speech defeats us and we shiver out the inner most chambers of our memories, it is best to look up. There aren't many good feelings in me today. I've been pretty foul from the moment I awoke. It really gets frustrating trying to sort out the mixture of joy and grief during the holidays, and especially his birthday. So I'm not going to write anything sad or negative today. I'm not going to show you what's inside because what's in there isn't productive right now. What's inside will pass in a few days and I will resume the clown I have always been.

So instead of pouring out. I'll tell you a story about my brother, whom really isn't my brother.

We met in church. We would go every Wednesday, Monday, and Sunday. Wednesdays were the family classes, and for some reason the kids in the Starter jackets always stood out to each other. We would glance at each other in a moment of respect and do the "cool guy" nod. I had my Tarheels coat, Will had the Bulls coat, and Joe, always the outlandish one, had the Triple Fat Goose with a metal plated Raiders cap.  After a few weeks of "cool guy" nods, they told me to sit with them during church after Sunday School. I was down for that. My only other option was sitting up front with the youth group kids who had a leader that had this head that look like an actual penis. He used to always shush me. I don't do well with being shushed, especially by phallic heads.

I sat down between Joe and Will next to their parents, who would become another set of my parents. I talked through the entire service. I talk when I'm nervous. Will's mom was horrified at me I think as she kept having to tell me to be quiet. Joe pulled out an old Atari handheld game and that shut me up for a little while. After church, despite the frustration Will's mom must have felt with my loud and obnoxious tone during Jesus time, she invited me, my brother, and my mother out for Chinese food.

Did I mention that I was the pickiest eater as a boy? I ate McDonalds, cereal, PB&J, bologna with mayo, and pizza. That was all I would eat. What even is Chinese food? Cats? So I get to the restaurant and listened to all of the exotic entrees being ordered that sounded like noises my furnace makes in the night and tried to decide between eating cat or eating walrus. I chose a cheeseburger with fries (because none of my other options were on the menu). The whole group, including my own mother scowled at me and shook their heads. Who orders that there? We ate, I did a lot more talking, and I had a new place to sit on Sunday mornings. I eventually joined them at their high school and we became family. My heart melted into their home and I became a staple at dinner. I even learned to like Chinese. Will's mother treated me as her child, even yelled at me like them, which I think I appreciated most. Their father bailed me out of my folly as a real father would. No one questioned my presence or tried to push me out. Their home was the warm guts that people paint Christmas portraits of.

They saved my life. Will saved my life. Happy birthday. I will always look up to you.


Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The DNA of Snowflakes

Little crystals reflected the lights from the houses that lined the partially shoveled sidewalk that continued to add to it's girth. The moon is partially hidden behind the clouds, but bright enough to announce it's presence to anyone who asks. A drunk guy staggers and wades through the drifting snow across the street. He speaks to himself with unintelligible words, acknowledging your presence with the turn of his head, but continues in his solitary conversation about a woman and her dog. He misses them both, he says as he looks at me. It is really late, probably 3:30 AM, I can't tell anymore. I had been laying in the snow for so long staring into the night sky that I forgot to remember to check my watch. It wasn't cold outside really. It was just snowing. The snow was a welcomed occurrence to me and was the very attraction that lured me outside in the first place.

Snow is real. You can touch snow. It travels a long way to get to you, all along experiencing a complete transformation from the liquid to this beautiful crystal ornament that lands and rests on my cheek. It is in this moment that the beauty of God touches my face that I remember what life is about. I remember what Christmas is about.

A beautiful God came and fell onto my face in the cold. A completely unique and perfectly shaped crystal landed on my face...on your face, and gave the promise to fix everything. A messenger from the only One who knows our hearts and has the strength to give us something to hope for falls right on my face and melts into my flesh.

I had been in mourning for so long that I forgot what the morning sun looked like. It was dark all around and the moon lit only enough for me to see the pavement below me. Every Christmas I would walk forwards to my place of prayer and anguish, then walk backwards back home. This was grief. This was the mess that is left when death passes through your life. You forget even the most fundamental truths about strength, life, God, and your very own spirit and begin to wander. In grief there is no way to go but all over the place. It lasts however long God allows it to, to help you gain from it. For me, every Christmas was a reminder that I lost something I could never replace and I would never be the same. Then the snowflake; A perfect reminder that I am not alone under that moon. The finger of God touches my face and I remember what I had forgotten. Christmas is about the finger of God touching the world, giving hope to a wandering people.

This Christmas will be sad at times just like the rest of them, but the holiday will be about Jesus, not Will. Whoever you are mourning wants to be let go of. This holiday does not have to be about who isn't here with you now. It should about who is here with you now.


Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Here's to another birthday.

But it isn't just another birthday is it? It's the day we celebrate our Savior.

I used to sit in church and hear that and just think, "Ok, Jesus was, I was born before too." It never occurred to me that it would mean so much to me later. Church is church. People will sing and sermons will be preached and skits will be performed. The church will have fundraisers and outreach events and people will show up and experience the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus. It was always a ceremony to me until December 25th 2009 when my brother was put into a truck and driven away lifeless.

This was the day that all of that church stuff went away and stopped doing anything for me. I was suddenly lost, confused, and conflicted. My confusion quickly became anger, then rage, and became the very thing that carried me through each day. I was comforted by nothing. My nights were spent turning and my days spent in anxiety. I was hiding from everything. I would not pray, and I would not give this God a moment of my time. To be honest, I gave him the finger.

I was wrong and underprepared for what was going to become of my understanding of my faith. My faith would no longer be based on weekly meetings, spiritual awakenings, or random gatherings of other believers. My faith would become the only way to survive. I would spend a good amount of time going through various motions so everyone thought I was OK. But I wasn't OK at all. I was traveling at an unmanageable pace toward what would become the darkest place I have been since my head laid on a certain set of tracks.

This is the danger of unrealistic faith. I say this because I believe God can do anything, but I now believe He won't do everything. God does not always do what you want. God isn't always going to save your mother, or wife, or brother. God sometimes, is going to watch them die with you. He is going to weep with you without you noticing. He is going to silently agree with the pain and anguish you face with the rising of every sun.

This pissed me off for a long time. It kept me from Him until I realized my faith wasn't about religious milestones or feelings at all. It is about survival. God isn't this cheesy pie in the sky moment when you all of the sudden feel better about yourself and life. God is getting a phone call while your son is opening his Wii by your brother to tell you your other brother is dead by sadness. God is in the moments trying to figure out a single thing to say to this amazing mother, who is always concerned with how you are doing, when her son is gone from her. God is when you are denouncing everything you had believed and turning to the cold darkness of anger. He lives there with you sometimes. This is faith. You come out of it and realize that He was there too. You realized just how broken His heart is too.

Then you understand what it means to be a Christian. It means pain, poverty, anger, rage, sadness, rejection, heartache, and despair are the very things that make your faith real to you.


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Prayers in my Sweat

What do you do to overcome your weaknesses?

In my case, my weaknesses overcome my strengths, although my strengths may overcome another's strengths. In my case, I learn to fight. I search inside of myself and find anger and release, then repeat. It is amazing the way anger manages to hold on to you like it is trying to survive a fall from a cliff. Happiness is easily forgotten. Blessings are easily forgotten. Accomplishments are easily forgotten. Anger stays for the long haul. Why?

So I run it out. I have explored in my life many more unhealthy ways of alleviating the ache in my heart, but running was the first to be productive. I need to believe I am stronger than the things I cannot control. God has always assured that with Him I am, but the utter humanity in us desires to see it with experience.

So I ran once. Then I ran again, and again, and again, and again, and again. I ran until I felt better and my fists were no longer clinched. I ran until I was too exhausted to display anger in my life. I ran until my chest expanded and air filled my lungs in their entirety. I experienced what God promised me. I could do anything with Him. He gives me strength. I run because I have to purge and scream and hate and fire and break down. Then I breathe and thank God for the strength to overcome my flesh and release to Him my fear and anger. See, I see running as a form of prayer. For some, our words alone are our prayers. For others, our tears alone. For me, my words are only a small part of the communication I need. I need to feel it. I need to feel the exhaustion that requires God to hold me up. My sweat is prayer.

When God says to give Him your troubles, this is the only way I have been able to interpret that in a way I can understand. I give it to Him though my suffering and ability to prevail.


 Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Changing Lanes

There is this one day that you are driving in this one direction. You are completely sure you are headed in the right direction to your destination, despite that little voice inside that tells you "No!" Your eyes are basically closed, blocking out the lines in the road that pass beneath your tires in rhythmic form. They play a song that reminds you of your childhood, laying in the back seat on your way home from a meaningless Bible school.

You wake up. You didn't know you were sleeping. You instinctively turn your car around because despite your evidence, this is not the right direction. This path is easy and the road is clear.

Your path is full of bumps and pot holes that threaten to take off your tires. You know that if the road is clear, you're going the wrong way. The Bible says: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). 

The road to real life in Christ will be filled with pot holes and flat tires. This has always been the way of God. If it seems like something everything wants to believe, it's probably not God. 


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, November 8, 2013


A child cries and dreams about nothing. It doesn't even know the reason it cries. A person is different from the next. Some babies cry for different reasons. But still, there isn't a living thing that does not cry. Crying is prayer. If no speech is available, the Spirit of God cries and prays for us. This is God.

But who are we? We are a people that is far from anything resembling God. We are a people that are crying for what we believe is right and just. We base this off of the 35 minutes we spent feeding the homeless or praying for the poor. The rest of the time, the homeless remain exactly what they are...homeless.

What does this mean? I don't know. Should we give? I don't know. But what I do know is that they should never be ignored.

Today I was running in Detroit with a friend.  We were expecting the worst as we sweated through Cass Corridor to downtown Detroit. Instead, we got normal people, who thew up a fists as we ran, symbolizing their approval. We had community. One guy even ran with us for 10 seconds.

People need love above all things. We need to give love above all things. It's a perfect match.


 Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I miss you like crazy, but I can't mourn you forever. I will always miss you and be sad, but I cannot be shut down. You are permanently gone from my physical life, but there is so much that isn't. I'm going to go to them.


 Thanks for reading...Z

Hiding in the Garden of Eden

The same David that slayed the Great Goliath, is the same David that murdered a man over the lust for his wife. This great man, who won the respect and admiration of an entire nation, found a way to corrupt himself and fall into the dark pit of sin. David was a real person. It's hard to see the person inside of these huge Bible stories, but in David's case, it's not so hard. He made human mistakes that granted him very human consequences. The point is; How did He get from one to the other: hero to villain. There is a saying that, "Every hero, within a given amount of time will become the villain." I hate that this is mostly true, but the humanity is consistent. People mess up because we are people, no matter what title we achieve. The Pope is still some guy and the person that takes your order is still some difference. People are people that make equal mistakes.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked, really could be seen also as a metaphor for purity and innocence. Adam and Eve mess up for the first time in all of history and the world changes instantly. Adam begins to panic and run. They hide from God. They cover themselves, which only covers their innocence. From there, God makes it more difficult to obey Him. God curses disobedience. God is perfect and cannot live in imperfection.

So God sends Jesus, the Messiah. The Savior of our sin and imperfection. He dies and raises again with our disobedience all over Himself.

Now we still sin. God still requires perfection. Jesus paid for our sin. We are perfect. We stand before God in perfection.

Why is it then, that we continue to look for fig leaves when we sin? We run and try to hide, pretending to ourselves that we are invisible from our Maker. We think as if we are in that garden, hiding from a walking God. We are in the world. hiding from an ever present God. He has always seen and been present in everything. We cannot hide. Hiding leads to more sin and mistakes. Coming clean leads back to life.


 Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, September 23, 2013


"When I interviewed Duritz in 2012, he was nice and engaging and definitely a little tortured. He had recently been taken off "about seven medications," he said, which sent him into a tailspin of withdrawal that lasted eight months. "It's a very raw world right now," he told me, "because I've been coated in gauze and amber for the last decade or so and I am running around naked right now. It's like the difference between being deaf and everyone in the world talking to you at once. You can't understand what the fuck anyone is saying either way, but it's probably better to be here than not be here. But it's very loud right now. It's like an assault in a lot of ways."

This was from and interview with Adam Duritz from my favorite Counting Crows. I think that people with mood disorders have a profound ability to perceive the world as it really is sometimes and not what they want it to be. The truth ins't always convenient. 

We just wanted to touch something that was forbidden to be touched. We wanted to be different from those that feared so much. In all of the time that has passed on this earth, less than 10% of the people who have lived here and worked hard here for their families have been remembered past a couple of generations. A guy will get up at 5 Am and get himself ready for sweat and grease and that longing for lunchtime. He will do this every day for 70 years, then retire to a life of walking to the store for the day's items that replace yesterday's uses. He'll grow older and die with a hundred people mourning his day to day. It will go on in people's minds for a while then smolder and fade into old campfire ashes. All he wanted was to be remembered, but the grass grows long around his headstone. This is the real fear of death. Actually dying is uneventful most times. I'v witnessed many deaths. Some of them never even have  family to show up at all. Some people have erased the love a family used to give them. The lights on the tree. The freshly cut grass. The cracks in their skin. The weariness in their eyes when they would tuck you in at night. All forgotten. No one wants their weariness to be forgotten.

This is the saddest fact of life and death. This is what many people fear about it so much. One day, no one will remember a single thing about you or what you did here.

Your world is gone. 

It's now being inhabited by people you don't recognize or understand. It isn't easy anymore. Life is more complex and even your children blame you for things you had no idea were harmful to them. 

The point of life for me????? Just be that person your children are proud of. To not cause trauma to them and teach them what is right and wrong. To teach them that life is full of horrific things and people have the tenancy to abandon reasoning, but God is real and alive and standing next to their dead father that they were so proud of. There is no better a solution to the fear of death for me.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


When something dies, it's body begins to shut down, starting from the least important organs to the most. Our anatomy is really intelligent and reactive to our physical and emotional situation. Eventually, without a cure, the body will begin to let go of it's most important organs...until the heart succumbs and the rhythm of that soul has ceased. Everything that person has experienced has become an archive. Very few will remember him and even less as the years add to their numbers. 1% of the earth's total population will be remembered by the future. 99% will go off into oblivion without a soul eventually remembering their existence.

This is why artists paint and writers write. This is why people are fighting day to day. We are fighting oblivion. We want to be remembered when we leave what we call life.

99% will fail.

My kids will love me forever. My grandkids will talk about me to their wives and children. My great grandchildren will see me as a Bible story that shouldn't be trusted because it was told by someone who knew me. The rest will never know my name. This is part of the curse...the worst part of the curse. Sin has made people eternally forgettable.


But the beauty. The beauty of life is remarkable. We are born and learn things through trial and error. We learn what life is through pain and laughter and hatred and perceived love. We make mistakes and correct them. We live the best way we know how and pray that God will correct our mistakes. We regret things until we die. We look at the way our sons treat their wives and are so proud, as if they did all of the work of being a good man. All the while, we know and dread the day we will be laying, hands folded in those cedar boxes below the most beloved people...the only people that will mourn or remember our lives. If we could see their eyes, I believe we would know that it was all worth it.

Then we would see the way our great grandchildren treated their wives and children. We would smile because the world is evil, but your wisdom went on for generations. We would see the things that history would not tell you directly in a book. They will see the point of life. They would know all about the need to fight through all obstacles and provide for our families. They would know about what true love has to fight through to remain...true.


Thanks for reading...Z

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Dead End Kids - A short story

We climbed into the 1990 Ford Econoline conversion van. It was the dead of winter. The part of February that everything seems sterile. The snow isn't new, it's grey and packed deep into everything surrounding the paths shoveled out twice a week. The air itself smells of salt and stale cold water.

When December comes, 30 years later, you will sit outside and catch the snowflakes on your tongue and cry thinking of doing that same action 30 years earlier as a boy. You remember the way your scarf would bother you as it collected your breath and rubbed your spit across your face. You remember the snowballs and the tears mixed with snow dripping down your red face.

It's not December 30 years later. Today the snowflakes just fall onto deaf eyes. In the van are my brothers. Kids that would never make it out of this place, just like you. There were kids that went away to college and became all of these glamorous people with glamorous things. They had cabins "Up North" and came home from work everyday without cuts and scrapes across their hands and arms. We were the kids that buried their hands in the snow to take hold of two by fours to carry up a ladder to the roof of the new construction would-be homes.

We were the ones that would never make it out, not because we didn't have the skills, but because we didn't want to. We loved this place. We loved the familiarity of every street we drove down. We loved going from place to place and rebuilding and exaggerating all of our memories.. We would get into that van and drive for hours, smoking cigarette after cigarette, making fun of each other.

This night, we would put on ski masks and go to the liquor store and just buy some coffee. We would get out of the van and rush into the store and tell people to move as we passed them and grab some beef jerky, potato chips, and machine mixed coffee from the thing by the coolers. We would approach the cashier with the masks on and look him no where but the eyes and set down our prospected goods. He would pause and stare us down. We would keep our hands on the counter and stare directly into his eyes, waiting for him to react. He did first as he reached down to the shelf under the counter and showed us the handle of a handgun. We didn't look away from his eyes, or pretended not to. I slid the money over to him. He dropped the gun back down and grabbed the money and put it in the register. He took out our change and dropped it on the counter in front of us. We didn't break gaze with him until we turned together and walked, leaving the change on the counter.

We get back into the van and laugh. We go home and build rockets out of cardboard toilet paper centers and fill their guts with rocket engines and tissue. We mold them into the very vessels we wanted to leave this earth in someday and go outside to fly them.

3 AM in the morning is when the first was launched in the middle of the suburban street. It soured into the winter night sky as if it had no intention of coming back down. We lost it when it burned out and found the end of our atmosphere. Engineering was my oldest brother's strongest gift. The second onto the roof of the neighbor's house. The third would be found in the park across the street.

We laid down on the snow packed grass and spoke about getting into those rockets and flying away one day. We watched planes scratch the sky above us, wondering where they were going and what kinds of people were on them. Maybe we would want to go somewhere someday. This night has been sitting in my memories for years and years. This was a picture of the only thing that made me happy as a teenager.


Many years later I would return to this house. One brother gone in his rocket, and the other somewhere between grief and loneliness. The house is boarded up and the the windows broken. I climb in to see the place I used to sleep next to my brothers. It's February again, the dead of winter. The street is now a dead end as the new freeway has been built at the end of it. There stands 4 houses on each side, 5 of them covered in boards.

I see my bed, still unmade and full of ashes and dust. I uncover a spot to sit down and look at the ceiling I spent so many hours looking at before life became fast. There is a feeling of emptiness there, yet I still see the memories of my life here. The wallpaper is cracked and peeling, but I still see them as they were when we were kids and everything was as it should be.

I look over to my pillow that still lays at the foot of my older brother's bed below and smile. I pick it up to smell the distant scent of my youth. I look down and see something that I cannot explain. I see a rocket. A pristine rocket lying under where my pillow was. I picked it up and examined it. It was the same rocket my oldest brother had climbed and left us behind in. I pulled out the burnt rocket from the inside of the toilet paper tubing and smelled it. I still had a faint smell of burnt sulfur to it that brought me instantly to another place. I began pulling out the tissue packing used to balance the rocket and give it weight. As I did, I found a piece of paper crumbled up. I knew I had found what I was looking for. I opened the paper up and read the words "The World Never Changes For The Dead End Kids."

The tears ran on and on until I got up and put the note back inside the rocket and put them both back under my pillow and left the house. As I walked away, I looked to the broken cement of the driveway and pictured that van and my brothers waiting for me to join them. I smiled and looked to my right to see the dead end sign that reflected the night.

I got back into my car and went home.


 Thanks for reading...Z

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Like...

A list of things I like to do, but don't tell people I do.

I like to visit houses I used to live in, pretty regularly.

I like to smell everything.

I like to listen to other people's conversations when I am eating alone and respond as if I were in the conversation. A few times I have responded out loud.

I like to start writing projects knowing full well I won't finish them.

I like to give people nicknames, including myself who I have given many to.

I like to do things that people would find weird if they were watching me on television. For example, I once faked being a bird catcher and was hired to remove some of them from the drop ceiling of a video store. My brother and I used rubber kitchen gloves, a harmonica, a fly swatter, and two pillow cases. We removed the birds, but turned the video store upside down and filled the floor with bird crap in the process. The video store gave us $250 in free video rentals.

I like to change my appearance as often as possible, although lately due to work constraints that I did not previously have, I have shown restraint.

I like to think of the most horrific thing in the world that could happen to me and try to make myself cry. If I succeed, I will go look at myself in the mirror.

I like to look at people in their cars as I pass them. I will rarely abstain from this activity.

I like to be freezing cold.

I like to tell strangers really personal things about myself. ( As you well know by now)

Also, I really love pizza with pepperonis that curl up like little bowls of grease.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Exposing Yourself

Good evening. Good morning. Wherever this finds you, hello out there. I haven't posted in a while. To be honest, I had run out of things I believed in enough to speak about. Whether you're in China searching for a picture of an animal with a human's beard, or in Alaska actually searching for whales, you are now here. This is my little neglected home where I write things down. This is my history, at least the history the way I see it.

I was driving today, stuck in the gridlock and dazing into the sky at a plane scratch the sky (as my daughter says). I started thinking about the plane and who was on it and where they were going, I didn't know, so that led me to smile at my daughter saying that, whenever she looks into the blue sky. I was thinking about what makes things that a kid says so cute and precious to people. I could have just as easily said the same thing and no one would smile at all. They would just stand still, then look down at their phones. I think maybe it's their innocence that draws such attention. A kid says something so little, yet it stuns people into this memory of themselves being so frail, yet so empowered to say or do whatever they wanted. 

At the heart of happiness, there is transparency.

A child is happy because they are open. They have no deep secrets or insecurities. Insecurities are learned from ridicule. Children should never be ridiculed. Neither should adults. Kids are happy because they don't know about the world yet. They're safe in their homes watching cartoons and waiting for their next desire to be fulfilled. They are doing exactly what a child does. They get a little older and life begins to show them the world and all of it's beauty and wonder and despair. For many, the darkness hides the beautiful things and for others, the light exposes the root of the darkness. For me, the despair was all I could see. I saw only the bad in people without really acknowledging the good. The world was wilted flowers to me. I had an idea that things were once beautiful gone terribly wrong and now filled with the remnants of what used to shine in the sun. I realized after many bad things that I was just hiding. I turned the lights out. I was finding the darkest places and living there. So I made a decision. I made the decision to let go of everything I had been taught about God and whatever He supposedly wanted from me. I had reached a place where there was no more down. I just sought out something different. I found it. Things changed slowly with work and frustration, but they were changing. Something about me was changing from within. I asked God if "He were really real and had something to say to me, then say it so I can here you." So He did. All of those things that made me so angry and awful to other people had to go. They had to be exposed. I....had to be exposed. No more hiding. So I painfully devoted my life to living without secrets. I have failed many times, but I am continually reminded and motivated to let every stranger know exactly who they are dealing with.

Here's why.

Transparency attracts people. People want to be around someone they can trust. It's both refreshing and scary to them. It makes them angry when things are said that aren't what they wanted to hear, but keeps them coming to you because they know beyond all that you can be trusted. I think many Christians have real issues with honesty, including myself. I think that our words about God should be few. We are often quick to share the words of our faith and keep the obstacles and troubling truths silent. People are smart. They see through this as a scam. In honesty, it is a scam. We hide the difficulties of being a person with faith in Jesus silent to attract people to the more attractive aspects. We tell them they will finally be happy and free, but hide that their family may reject them and ridicule them for their senseless faith in the unseen man-made superstitions of the Bible. We tell them them that God will protect them, but hide the notion that people all over the world are taking leaps of faith and being slaughtered for it. We tell them that we accept and love everyone, then segregate and ostracize based on whatever perceived sin the person is living in. This is not transparency, this is a hoax that drives people away from God. This isn't what God wants. God doesn't want you to flaunt your freedom and condemn the others for their differences over social networks. God doesn't want you bashing and judging His Creation because you feel your rights are being infringed upon. God want's no hate or lies to spill from your lips. God wants the same unconditional love from you to others as He gave to you while suffering and dying on the cross.

God wants a different Christianity.

God wants a different religion.

God wants an open book standing right here for all to read, because people flock to truth. You may be ridiculed, but you will represent God...who was in fact...ridiculed.


Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Church in Peril

This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and trample the hurting under foot.

I think this is the day that many Christians have lost their minds. One would think that the Bible would be clear on this issue in the hearts of those that subscribe their lives to following it. This principle is at the very base of God's moral code. Love God with all of your hearts, souls, and minds, and treat others as you would be treated. Love God, love people. Yet here we are in 2013 and all we can do is argue. The Bible also says not to do that. You don't see Jesus doing it. He knew better. Our personal liberties are not worth driving those that are lost further into the dark. What those do that are not subscribing to our Bible is between them and God. We aren't granted the liberty to judge them. We are granted the responsibility to love them. Love drives people to God. Judgement drives them to the grave. We use harsh Bible language and use God's very words of love as a dagger to cut at the hearts of those who are already bleeding. This is insane. It is as if we are stumbling right back into the pharisee's robes. We pray loud in the squares and flaunt our freedom as if it were something we earned and not God. We exercise our own freedom and strip others of it as if they hadn't worked hard enough for it. It was Christ who worked for all of it. We build worship buildings and spend millions on drawing a crowd. We could never draw God with our money or bricks. We draw God with sincerity and love. We are still throwing stones at that prostitute instead of reaching out our hands to her.

The American church is in peril. We got here by ignoring the very actions of Jesus. Jesus did not call out the sinners and condemn them, quite the opposite, he called out the righteous as hypocrites for their judgement and legalism. Jesus ate and drank, yes alcohol, with the sinners and the religious called him a drunkard and a glutton. Jesus spent his time with the hated people, washing their feet, not condemning their actions. The American church will be destitute of the actual Spirit of God if we continue this progression into hate. We will be sitting in huge buildings full of people acting out emotionally and as publicly as we can, all while rotting on the inside while the country rots on the outside.

We must wake up. Our banner must be love, compassion, and grace for God to be seen in us by the world. Those are the very attributes of God Himself. When people see those things, they see God. I challenge my brothers and sisters to simply close your mouths. Lay your hands beside the keyboard. Take a few minutes to meditate on God and what His Word actually says and act accordingly. Make this your creed with me, we will all fail at times, but people will have grace on us because of our practice of having grace on them. "Let us speak no evil from our mouths."


Thanks for reading. Z

Friday, March 22, 2013

What The World Needs Now

Lot's of sad things in the world right now. Yesterday a 13 year old kid shot himself dead in the school bathroom before classes began.When something like that happens we always picture our own kids in their shoes...picture ourselves in the shoes of their parents. I don't even know how to describe what would be in my head. A few months ago a guy robbed a pregnant woman and shot her in the belly, killing her baby...just because. Every week in Detroit a guy breaks into an elderly person's home and rapes her, robs her, and kills her...just because. Point being, you watch the news enough and you will learn to loathe the world we have to live in. You will become cold in your heart and forget about those that just want peace.

I have served as youth minister for 13 years. I've seen and heard a lot that I can never tell you. Things that make me sick. At this point and time, I cannot serve at the capacity I used to. So since yesterday and the suicide of that kid, I have been wondering what to do. What can I do? I have never been one to sit back and watch the world burn. I wanna get burned trying to save others. It occurred to me this morning that I am not doing much at all to help those in peril. I have been living my life and adjusting to a different career and craft. I sat down this evening with my wife and watched a doc about a guy who used Craigslist ads to keep him in shelter and food for a month. He didn't want to just mooch off others, so he spent most days volunteering to those that needed love. During the film, it occurred to me that this is the answer. Disconnect from the digital and reconnect to humanity. We are cold and self centered because we are conditioned to relate via internet or text. The issue is, you cannot look into the eyes of a person on the internet. You get what they choose to give you. Face to face, most cannot hide who they really are or what is really happening in them.

So here is my rough draft resolution. Take more time in every human interaction you experience in your day. Speak with the person serving your coffee, your lunch. Take every opportunity to get to know strangers everywhere. I am betting you will find that people share the very same feelings on many levels. I am betting that you will make a difference in more than one person's life. Say hi to the neighborhood kids. Give a 100% tip to your waitress. Adopt a child from Compassion International and actually write her. Start a relationship with a person whose life you are sustaining.  Sit down next to a person who is sitting alone and open a conversation. Step out from where you are comfortable. Look people in the eyes and say things that matter. Learn to keep your mouth shut when it is foolishness coming out. Leave behind your negative attitude. Ask God to break your jaded heart. Give in to the thoughts of that kid that still lives in you. Would you as a 9 year old drop your last nickle in that filthy guy's hand...probably yes. If you are shoveling snow, shovel your neighbors as well. Buy the lunch of a random person sitting across the restaurant. Do all of these things in secret.

I think this is what the world needs now. Love. Love is still a verb, not a feeling. Love is something you practice. Do so intensely. I will too.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, March 8, 2013

Beginning to Break

Life is really fast. When you're young it goes by so slow, always waiting to be old enough. Thirty years later, you have no idea where your life went and how it got here without you noticing. Things then spiral and speed up and your time is more, for the most part spent doing something that you would soon not notice your doing so much. Phone calls and text messages and emails and tournaments and soccer games and dance recitals and appointments and paperwork and insurance and 401 K and 403 B. When your 80, you know now you will wonder how you got these wrinkles so were just 7 years old playing in the sand and picking the bark off branches at the top of your backyard tree. Without knowing it, the world spins around and around, reproducing the same 24 hours it produced the day before. Days vary, but in all, they are the same and it is all going too fast.

Until that moment your world is shaken. When everything that has inhabited your turn of the earth is changed. Suddenly things slow down so you can really experience them. Sometimes this is a blessing when it is time to celebrate, others it is a cruel joke and everyone is laughing but you. having nothing but time.

When you've been rocked the lights above you as you drive move slower above your head and you notice when a streetlamp is out. You look at the details of your surroundings because all of the sudden you have time. You listen to the drip of melting ice trickle down your gutter. The turn off the radio to hear the sound of the cracks in the cement of the road pass beneath your tires. You wonder why that baby is crying in the shopping cart while it's mother shops quietly and oblivious it. You wonder what it will look like as an adult crying like that in front of the mirror trying to see what you look like crying. You watch the trees sway back and forth with the wind and the helicopter seeds sail down to the earth and realize that this very same moment in time produced the tree that produced them in the first place. All of these things are part of the shock and jarring of the changing of the pull of gravity of the earth in your life. This is what happens when rotation is end up on your head.

For a while, we stay on our heads and look at all of the beautiful things in the world and learn how to block out bad thoughts. But after a while the earth begins to make sense a little. Never as colorful again, but sensible enough to allow the earth to speed round and round again unnoticed by your days.

The question then becomes appallingly clear...Are we now healed or are we again beginning to break?


Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Excerpt From the Diary of the Great Grizzly Brown

If I stopped walking, my legs would fall off and I would bleed to death. If I stopped and stepped back, my eyes would be crushed and my tongue pulled out. I had been through that hell. I had seen all that the devil wanted me to see. I lived through it. Now I walk away from it with the back of my shirt still on fire. The smoke still smolders from my flannel button down.

I had stared into the eyes of everything that I feared and became who I never wanted to be. I became nothing at all. I just sat there. I stared at blank screens and lost track of time inside of myself. Any pride left inside was torched and left to mix with the ashes of what I had lost. There was no sun. There was no day. The night reigned both my dreams and lucid hours. I fought for my sanity, I begged for comfort. I got only emptiness for my cries.

Until the day I woke in the dirt, my face down on the concrete alley. Bottles surrounded my frail form. I lift my head in weakness and let it fall back to the ground that I so badly wanted to dwell in. I had heard a voice. I am sure it was in my head, but it was loud enough for me to understand. I heard a voice of One calling in the desert. I heard Him and I rose to my feet. I had been waiting for this voice for thirty years. Thirty long years of obedience. Thirty years of faith without one moment of proof. Now He speaks. Now...after my only family is perished and I have nothing left but my thoughts. He speaks, so I listen.

He says....."Move! Remove yourself and get up and keep moving."

So I did because I had nothing left to do. I could lay in this alley until I froze or starved to death, which may have been only hours away, or I could stand to my feet and start walking toward where the sun used to be.

What I found was a fire remained. It burned inside of me quietly. It was what kept me from fading into the asphalt. It was anger, but misplaced anger. It was anger at my childhood for what it produced. It was anger at God for where He lived compared to where I lived. Most of all, it was the anger that screams from the emptiness that comes from holding out your arms to hug a son that is gone and a wife that has joined him in paradise. It was directed and everything that had always kept me alive through all of this madness.

For the first time I was silent. I walked for days and weeks and months, not speaking a word to anyone. I sorted it out. I fought every demon that had infested my heart. I fought until I nearly bled out. But in the end, I walked forward, away from the madness and into more madness.

-The Great Grizzly Brown (Excerpts from his personal diary found during The Celebration- dated 3013)


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine For My Love

"And if ever to leave. I'll say before I go. That you're the best moment I've ever known." Ben Howard

Life travels so fast. When I was little, I would always want to be some older kid. The older kids got to stand up on the school bus or leave class early to stand on the corner. Adults would always tell me that I was too young for this or for that. It bothered me to be young. I didn't like being put off...still don't. Every year seemed to drag on and on as I would perceive it then. Now my perception of it is much different. I wanted to be the teenager smoking in the park playing the saxophone. Instead I was stuck in this over-sized Member's Only jacket in an under-sized body. I tried once to just go buy cigarettes with my lunch money. I went to the counter and asked for a pack of cigarettes...had no idea there were more than one brand. Lady laughed and told me to buy some gum. I looked up to the wrong people. Something about a rebellious teenager made me want to be one. I did end up being one.

Now I want a time machine. I want to travel back and watch it happen the entire night. It could take the place of dreaming. I could be sleeping soundly in the here and now, but back there in my mind. I don't want to be able to change anything, I just want to see it. I want to perceive it as I do now and not then. I want to speak to myself then, even if I can't hear it. I may have trusted very few if I could go back. I would have told that guy in the park to stop making me afraid of nuclear war and to get a job and stop playing that sax in the park, people are trying to sleep. I would have realized my potential far before it became so painful to achieve. I would have given all I had left in my hands to take a step out of the shadows and be who I wanted to be. I was always an underdog in my mind, but it took years to fight like one. I was held back and restrained by my own fears until late in my teens. I got to where I always wanted to be. I bought cigarettes and drank booze.

I was that cool, rebellious teenager. I hurt people on purpose, I think it made me feel powerful to make a person cry. I was the weakest of all teenagers. I was full of rage that had been held back. I was a lion that could not devour enough of everything that satisfied my need for life to fair. Life was never going to be fair...not for me...not for the millions who had things far worse than me....and that isn't fair. So I just let everything around me burn to the ground and I stood over it. I fought for every moment of every day. I gave in to nothing. I dared not to try anything. If it scared me, I ran at it. Nothing was enough. I became all that I had always been scared to become. I became fire.

It was empty. Inside, I wanted something better. I didn't want anger to fuel everything anymore, it took too much out of me. I was lonely. I was the loneliest man in the entire world. I fell in love with everything but what I needed.

Then I met her. She sat in front of me at a wedding. I had a girlfriend at the time, but she was another placeholder to something different. I went to the wedding with my brother instead. She was the most beautiful thing I had seen in my entire life. I played it cool. I didn't talk to her. My rule was that if you wanted the girl, act as if you didn't want anything to do with her. So I did that. We got to the reception and I knew we had something going on with the glances and the fast turning of our heads when the other looked. I took a picture of her looking at action she could have copied from me a hundred times. I walked over to her table and a friend of mine introduced her to me. She was holding some random person's baby. I took the baby from her. Years later she would make the claim that I purposely fondled her during this baby exchange, but I will deny it to death. We spoke for a minute and I sat back at my loud table and ate dinner. A couple of hours later because of her courage, we were dancing together. We had an amazing time, even though I looked like Jar Jar Binks flailing around with my arms and legs like a skier falling down a hill. That night I asked for her phone number and she hesitated, which was awesome to me.

The next morning I broke every one of my dating rules. I called her and spoke to her little Scottish grandma, who told me she was at college and would be back later. She called me back at some time, I don't know how long.

I loved her right away. She didn't mind that I didn't take her out to eat for dates and dates. She didn't mind me taking her to strange places like this train car below a hill where homeless people lived. She didn't mind that I didn't kiss her for a month after we started dating. I wanted to know her on a different level. She became my wife on June 9th 2001. She delivered our first child on January 13th 2003 and our second on May 6th 2006. This was the life I never knew that I always wanted. I never saw this coming. I didn't think I ever deserved it. I found my potential on the one thing I never saw growing up. A husband and a father. This was God's second greatest gift given to me.

Happy Valentine's Day my love. You are the best moments I've ever known.


Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts

 His eyes open at the high pitched sound of a swing set and kids shouting. At first he didn't know where or even who he was. He had asked that very same question hundreds of times before. He would wake up and roll out of the bed and onto the floor, crawl to the dresser and lift himself to his feet. He would stagger his way to the bathroom feeling every pulse from his heart blasting blood into a brain that felt full already. He would look at his creased and quickly aging face and ask himself out loud, "Who are you?"

Now he wakes in his car in a parking lot next to a school beside a big hill that the trains run on. He wakes to the sounds of recess. He wakes to the very sound of his own child playing with his friends. No one even knows he is there. He would pull down the back seat that opens a hole that leads to the trunk and would lie 50/50 between the back seat and the trunk. In the winter, he would start the car for 30 minutes several times a night to make it warm inside, then shut it off to conserve gas. He had to work too hard to pay for gas...and hurt too many people.

He brings himself out of the back seat and sits down onto the front seat and lights a cigarette. His little boy is standing straight up on the top of a dome of monkey bars. He hasn't spoken to him in years, but sees him 5 times a week at 9:45 and 2:15 PM. Some days it's kickball and others it's the dome of steel. Either one, his kid was clearly king. It makes him remember when he was king...that very short period of time that he ruled the entire world.


He sat in the oval office and controlled whether a nation would recover or decay. The earth was at his fingertips. He thought at the time that he wanted this power, but when his wife left him during his second term, reality set in deep inside. He started smoking weed in the presidential garden. He did so without regard to anyone that may be watching. He got drunk and made a state of the union speech using a made up language that no one understood. This was his last term and he just didn't care anymore. He had lost everything. His wife had left 2 years after his kids gave up on him and wrote tell all books about him. He was shamed, damned to serve his final year as commander of the world and go off into oblivion. That was when his maid got pregnant with his child. He knew it was his because he never let anyone leave him. He paid them more money to stay and ease the loneliness.

Now he sits and watches his child play in the park of a low income community. No one is calling him for speeches or stamps of approval. No one cares whether he lives or dies anymore. If he is mentioned anywhere, it is accompanied with a joke at his expense...and he deserves it. He is the "Trailer Park President" the "Black Eye of the American Electoral College." He was President Duncan, now he is "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts." The laughing stock of the entire world. This is why he awakens to the sound of swing sets and not the radio.

His bottle of the cheapest vodka available sits under his foot as he rolls it back and forth on the floor until the bell rings and he gets to watch his son walk back into school and out of his life until 2:15 when he will barely recognize him due to a new bottle of the cheapest vodka available.

He sits and watches the doors close and the field go silent. He begins to figure out a way to get the 2 dollars he needs for a new bottle, but is interrupted by the young guy walking toward the doors of the building his kid is about to learn mathematics in. This guy doesn't look official and surely is holding something under his jacket. President Drunkin Dunkin opens the car door and runs as fast as an intoxicated man could be expected to run and swings open the door of the school exposing himself to a very angry teenager with a very deadly gun. They lock eyes for a moment of understanding and the kid fires a round into the stomach of President Shamed Duncan, then turned toward his son's classroom. Duncan pushes forward toward the kid, making noise that would both distract and agitate the gunman. Another bullet into the shoulder. Another into the abdomen. Duncan kept coming. He kept walking until he put his hands on the shooter breaking his neck with the last amount of strength left, then crumbling to the ground in death.

No one called him "Drunkin Dunkin, time to make the donuts again." No one called him anything but a national hero.


Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Need For Prayer

It was never about the lions. The lions are always hungry. It was about a story between God and Daniel.

 Guns are really popular. Guns right now are either angels or demons to people. People everywhere are talking about gun laws and freedoms. There is an outcry on both sides of the coin. However, we see a similar situation, except way worse in the Bible.

Before Christians take arms to fight, as some are threatening, take note of Daniel's response in Daniel 6. He was stripped of his right to pray to his God. The real God. He was told he would be killed if he did so and he did anyway. He didn't hold up a picket sign or march on the Roman capitol. He didn't make a fuss, he simply did as he thought was right in the face of death. They sent him to the lions den and he was unharmed. Those that accused him were then sent and killed immediately...

God is powerful and will shut the mouths of lions if He chooses. We are nothing. We are powerless. We should stop believing otherwise as far as our state of living is concerned. God is in control. Things happen that we consider bad or unjust, yet we do the opposite of Daniel. We fight. We whine. We cry about freedoms.

We are not given freedoms apart from the freedom of God. Neither was Daniel. Did he cry about it and scream about freedom entitlements? No, He just kept praying. The answer is prayer.

Just pray.

Get alone in the house with God and pray. You cannot overthrow the government when  things get voted against you. You are powerless...and that is where God wants us. We need to rely on Him and pray. Submit.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, January 4, 2013

Saying Goodbye For Good?

It has taken me such a long time to discover some things that I always knew with my mind, but never experienced with my life. There is a difference between the two. People know everything until they have experienced it and have found themselves lost.

Saying goodbye is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I have difficulties leaving things behind, even if they are causing me harm. I have never wanted to ever say goodbye for good to anyone or anything. This is a thought that is so sad when I think about it. To leave it behind and never come bad to it. My dream is to have a time machine. The kind of time machine that will only take you back for 30 minute periods. I don't want to stay there, I just want to revisit. I want to watch myself make all of those decisions I made and experience all of the things I remember as being golden. I want to relive them and then come back home to my beautiful wife and kids who are more than I have ever deserved.

I have everything. I have all I have ever wanted and more than I could have expected, and yet I still want to go back and live it again. I realize now that I am making a heaven for myself, one much different than the one God has prepared. One far less beautiful than what God has in mind. I want to relive the sorrow. I am not sure why, maybe the train wreck syndrome. I just don't want to let it just doesn't feel right. Those times were me. That was me. Those were the things that made me what I am now and what I will be. I should be moving forward without looking back. Well I am moving forward, sometimes there is no choice in that, but I am constantly looking back. This brings me to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible. There was this place...these two connected cities where the people had lost all desire to please God or to follow even a moral code of some sort. They were a city of rapists. God sends angels to remove the one righteous family and the people line up at the door to rape God's angels. Lot, the righteous man, agrees to leave after much prayer and arguing with God and as his family leaves, God tells them not to look matter what. Lot's wife disobeys and looks back and sees the horror of a city full of people turned to salt. She then turns to salt also. She had one job and that was to move forward to something beautiful. Instead she could not say goodbye, no matter how disgusting the things that were behind her. This is a lesson to us. We should heed it. I should heed it. I/you cannot live in the past. It may bring back nostalgic feelings that we want to cling to, but we must let those things just be feelings. The word nostalgia means basically, a "Pain for the past." In the human body, pain is a warning. It's a sign of something wrong. The point is to correct what causes the pain. For some, this is easy, for others the most difficult thing life could bring.

For the past several years I have been working on goodbye. I have been trying to say goodbye to my brother, who is gone from here and somewhere else beautiful, but still so much of what drives my thoughts. I've been trying to say goodbye to the bad habits my actions have produced in my life. I have been trying to say goodbye to a certain set of railroad tracks that once almost made my life a tragedy.

I am a positive person. This has not always been, but by the grace of God, I have become a positive thinker. I love to laugh. I make jokes wherever I am because life should never be taken too seriously. We are a mist that appears for a while, then vanishes. I try to stand out to every person I meet, so that they can see that God is good. But I just cannot keep from looking behind me. I cannot find it in me to finally say goodbye.

To be honest, I don't even know how or where to start.


Thanks for reading...Z