30 December 2001

wow, have i been busy . . .
inexplicably i have had an overload of work pushed onto me in the last few weeks. . .
close out the year or something like that . . .
and through it all the year escapes me . . .
today is the second to last day of the year. . .
it's tough to imagine . . .
that the year has come and gone . . .
time marches on with little in the wake . . .
as i reflect on the year's events, as we often do upon the close of a time period . . .
it's been quite a year . . .
i managed to stay at the same job almost the whole year . . .
quite content as well . . .
i bought a house, bought a car . . .
built out this website, the UR site and the five13design.com site . . .
i've gotten fairly cleaver with coding for web work . . .
though it's still mainly from the cuff . . .
and i have been reading more regularly, reading the Bible more regularly, and writing more, well if not regularly, more. . .
and i have to some extent begun to realize my lot in this life . . .
now, if only i could learn the method of achievement . . .
anyway, i have quite a list of topics that i fully intended to address this year, so i will effort to address a few within the next two days . . .
the rest of course will spill into the new year . . .


working in the IT field and doing web design . . .
i often find myself in front of a computer . . .
and if you notice the taskbar on the bottom of your screen, you'll see a tab for each program or task you are running . . .
well it is far from uncommon for my taskbar to include two and three rows full of open applications . . .
i often need to keep a lot of windows open simultaneously . . .
though i am not the worst i know with this behavior, as i discussed earlier, it doesn't really matter how i measure up comparitively . . .
anyway, back on track, while this multi-window state is sometimes justifiable and even necessary, i have noticed . . .
and this is a fairly logical notation. . .
that the more applications that are open at a time, the slower or more peculiar the behavior of the computer itself . . .
certainly, i can upgrade the RAM or the processer to handle this more efficiently, but the computer i use is pretty good about it already . . .
and that's not the point i'm getting at . . .
it is that the more things we try to do at one given time, the less likely we are to accomplish them at all . . .
and the more likely we are to freeze up and "Crash" . . .
anyway, it's just a simple illustration that i came to realize recently . . .
as i have experienced the overtaxing of myself, first hand . . .


20 December 2001

You led them by night with a pillar of flame . . .
a visual display of your might . . .
i boldly dare to ask for the same . . .
yet you call my name as i sleep . . .
explaining my life in dreams
most of which i don't recall
if at all . . .
it seems unfair . . .
[ almost as if you don't care ] . . .

You led them with a cloud . . .
by light of day . . .
when you speak to me i strain to hear . . . .
pulling words from the flowing rain . . . .
the wind howls and seems nearer . . .
i struggle to comprehend all you say . . .
i'm blown away like fallen leaves . . .
i beg you to let me stay . . .
this is where i want to be . . .
You are who i need to see . . .
i need You to teach me . . .
i try to make out your silhouette . . .
and yet the horizon escapes me . . .
[ almost as if you are out of reach ] . . .

You led them visually . . .
dusk and dawn . . .
i feel drawn and quartered by the directions i've taken . . .
i can't always SEE You . . .
i can't always HEAR . . .
i know You are there . . .
somewhere in the fog . . .
a faceless figure in the mist . . .
in the midst of my storm a curl up to stay warm . . .
i know you can keep me from the cold . . .
wishing i were bold enough to ask . . .
bolder still to accept . . .
i grow older as my faith remains in similtude . . .
[ p l e a s e F a t h e r l e a d m e ] . . .


i am at a crossroads of sorts . . .
i feel completely compelled to write . . .
and completely terrified of taking that first step . . .
i am torn by the thought of leaving the place i am . . .
even now that it's not so comfortable . . .
even now that i struggle to respect for some . . .
even now that i fight to daily swallow my pride and look beyond what is on the surface . . .
i realize i can't hide forever . . .
what i can't realize is when i am or am not hiding . . .
i'm not trying to run here, i'm struggling to take a single step . . .
i wonder where i fit in, where my place is . . .
if i'm supposed to fit in anyway . . .
i wonder where my heart truly is . . .
i feel like Peter in the boat . . .
but i sink before i step onto the water . . .
i thought the other day how nice it would be to take a month off and get things straightened out in my head . . .
read, pray, write, ponder, wander, basically get right . . .
that thought was quickly followed by the knowledge of what i would probably do . . .
sleep, slack, waste time, absorb cushions with my derriere . . .
maybe, maybe not . . .
just looking for the next stair . . .
work beckons.


19 December 2001

here i sit at the edge of the boat . . .
no fish in my net . . .
storm all around me . . .
one steady hand beckoning me through the fog . . .
one stable voice over the thunder bellows . . .
"come. walk with Me." . . .
as i shudder in the hull . . .


well i am at a crossroads of sorts . . .
i will expand on it more later . . .


14 December 2001

preparing to voyage back . . .
well, at least out of NYC . . .
i have had a lot to think about over the last 24 hours of my life . . .
after wasting a good four hours in a ridiculously, inane office party at the crown plaza hotel . . .
every course was treated as a work of art although i was uncertain what the statements being made actually were . . .
anyway, after this self-depreciative journey of sing-a-longs and really poor efforted humor . . .
we switched to comfortable clothes and worked our way down to what has been renamed "Ground Zero" . . .
*this line represents a greatly needed point of reflection to completely process what surely lay ahead *. . .
we walked around the site for probably close to 2 hours although it was difficult to keep track of something as insignificant as time in light of the entire scene . . .
blocks and blocks of street covered with flowers, posters, banners, pictures, memories, and yes, sadly enough, tee-shirt stands and salesmen . . .
the streets were still covered with muck and wooden boards, sides of buildings that remained standing were covered with mesh, holding the broken windows in place . . .
the air thick and soupy, remembered the stench of death all too well . . .
and the towers that fell . . .
the towers remained as twisted sculptures of metal as if displays in a museum . . .
but what a price to pay for a piece of art . . .
as my stotmach continued to tighten, i pressed on . . .
for obvious reasons, much of the area was barricaded off . . .
but my eyes crossed over the barriors until they created their own . . .
as i turned away i noticed that all around me, life was continuing . . .
i watched for a while at the going on of life as normal . . .
i saw disgust in the eyes of the "regulars" who had to "deal" with the mass of visitors, weeping, reflecting, reconsidering . . .
the honking of horns that is always prevelant in the city . . .
and i continually was drawn to the clock/temperature gauge flashing on a nearby building signifying that indeed . . .
time was moving on . . .
it wasn't until much later that i realized the clock to be an hour fast . . .
perhaps never having been properly adjusted for the daylight savings schedule . . .
and there was a booth set up nearby on fulton and broadway . . .
a "prayer station" set up by a group from California that believed 55 degrees to be arctic temperatures . . .
one man playing guitar (for 7 straight hours i later learned) and several others offering consultations and free literature to passersby and visitors . . .
and we joined them for a time . . .
my dear friend relieved George of guitar duties and we sang a few praise songs . . .
it was a great release . . .
as we departed, we discussed the possibility of helping out futher over the next few days despite our absence . . .
and went our seperate ways . . .
that was a good midpoint of our visitation . . .
the sights are quite a bit to take in, and are equally overwhelming . . .
i think of the times i had been there in the past . . .
my annual school trips to South Street Seaportduring which we would annually sneak off to go up the towers . . .
it was probably under such circumstances that i last noticed the towers . . .
and that was at least 7 years ago . . .
and here i was in their absence . . .
powerful to say the least . . .


later on in the evening, we decided that getting some dinner would be a good idea . . .
so we made our way down the twenty-some blocks to times square on foot . . .
my initial thought was to eat at the espnzone . . .
but though it was after eight, it was still over an hour wait . . .
so we settled for a bbq joint down around the corner . . .
about halfway through the meal we realized that it was this same barbeque spot that we were to be eating lunch the next day . . .
not that there's anything wrong with barbeque, but two meals in a row (breakfast the following morning was never a thought) . . .
well, let's just say that there are certain things that are best in limited quantities . . .
anyway we spent the rest of the evening hours perusing the streets of the times square nightlife . . .
and began the journey back to the hotel a bit after midnight . . .
the twenty or so blocks had apparently grown . . .
but we hoofed it all the way back to the hotel and turned in for the night . . .


i just realized as i am writing this that there isn't much depth to this entry, and i appolgize . . .
sometimes i'm just not so deep i guess . . .


13 December 2001

just passing through Philly on my way up the the big apple . . .
we are staying overnight this time . . .
some interesting notes on today . . .
besides a morning battle with nausea, getting stuck in traffic . . .
missing our original train and getting coffee all over my hands . . .
the bathroom door on this particular train appears to be stuck open . . .
it has been enjoyable watching everyone try to figure out the inner workings of said door and get it to close . . .
one thing i've learned today is that it is quite difficult to type and manipulate a cup of coffee in the limited space provided by the fold-down tray back .. .
fortunately i haven't spilled . . .
more difficult still, packing things back up with one hand maintaining the appropriate grip on the all important cup of coffee . . .


12 December 2001

*recovered from my recent trip to Florida . . .*


the first day of classes are over . . .
not sure what to really think about it as i'm not sure what i really expected . . .
the topics, though intriguing in their own right, were minimally addressed . . .
lunch was pretty strange . . .
despite some nasty dry yellow pasty substance being served . . .
the guy walking around filling drinks decidedhe needed to grab my napkin from the table . . .
and place it on my lap for me . . .
never mind that no one else had their napkins in their laps . . .
it was apparently only improtant that i dine with proper respect . . .
just me . . .


i watch the clouds . . .
surrounding me . . . blocking the light . . .
dismally . . .
i turn away . . .


so i'm looking at the clouds and it's very dark and intimidating knowing that they can stop the light from reaching me . . .
it's easy to get discouraged looking at the clouds . . .
if you only see the crowds of clouds you might think that your enemies surrounded you . . .
cut off from the light, you might believe your hope had vanquished . . .
but you'd be missing the point . . .
though your enemies, MIGHT be all around you . . .
your mighty ally is all around them . . .
far greater than this or any other adversary . . .


*now back to our today time . . .


i missed out on an encounter with someone famous . . .
having recently released a new CD, he was in town signing copies at a local shop . . .
having other engagements, i didn't make it to said shop . . .
anyway, i felt pretty down about missing this "opportunity" for a while . . .
it's not like i would've had an engaging conversation with him or anything . . .
it's not like he'd recognize me, or even necessarily care too much that i was there . . .
i mean, i wasn't there, and i didn't see any press releases that he was upset that i didn't make it . . .
but still, i wanted to go there . . .
i wanted to see him . . .
i wanted to show my support and respect for all that he's accomplished and meant in my life and the lives of many others . . .
respect, however, sometimes borders on worship and perhaps, i had bent too far in the wrong direction . . .
but, it's not that i worshipped this man, or that he was an idol . . .
it's just that i like to be in the presence of people i respect . . .
it's for this same reason why i engage my father in discussions, though he prefers to keep his tongue . . .
basically, when you find someone who lives the life you read about in the Word, you realize where you've fallen short . . .
and the more time you spend with them, the more you learn how to correct your ways . . .
you find out that it really can be done . . .
that there are practical ways to walk the right path . . .


coming soon a mini-journal-esque piece of writing that i have no idea how to catagorize . . .
but it's called Chance Encounters: Brushes with Fame . . .
it's written but not yet typed . . .


11 December 2001

whew, last night, this morning, whatever it was . . .
anyway the after effects reside below . . .


they've lined up in my head again, rhythmically in turn by turn, beat by beat, they await . . .
anxiously as my acknowledgement allows the thoughts form words pouring throughout my consiousness or lack thereof . . .
i lay here in the darkness perfectly still and still i feel motion . . .
emotion wavers within me and extends to my exterior, gently rocking, shaking, still . . .
"it's late" she says, "sleep: stay the night" . . .
and i try to block it out, trying to go on, trying to shut my eyes, and the shop for night . . .
still, i hear them, still i fear them gone by sunrise . . .
my eyes adjust to darkness, i see through the shadows the fan plays on the ceiling still . . .
i lay still, still i move . . .
i hear the begging envisioning eyes longing, meeting mine wide open stuck on a ceiling fan still . . .
questioning . . . why . . .
where is that pen and pad that should be by my side . . .
when i never used them the were everywhere . . .
through panes streaked with nostril smears i see the lines under dust waiting for words to occupy their territory . . .
impressed, the thoughts stress the hope that though once opressed they soon shall surpass duress to rest safely there . . .
a yawn encourages the urge to roll over and forget . . .
are you coming tonight, Father? would you prefer me to write, Father? . . .
would you like me still if i slept? . . .
no longer tired, i have become restless . . .
am i breathing too loudly, can you feel my heart pounding over there? . . .
can you hear it over the heater kicking in . . .
will you think me wrong if i get up? . . .
will you even wake? still i hesitate . . .
alas i shall rise as i can't close my eyes consistantly for any matter of time . . .
i must release this . . .
slipping down the stairs halfway realizing i have neglected my second eyes . . .
though i see clearly, still, where are those notepads and where is a pen when the need arises . . .
upon the finding will you remind me what to say then . . .
will i finally realize who i am . . .
i recline in my chair and allow the words to fight for space and air . . .
i curiously wonder why tonight, why to write, why . . .
and rhythically they come to me, pounding, resounding . . .
is that the rain? have i forgotten you already . . .
is it You? can it be? are you still . . .


10 December 2001

i started working on a poem that has been cluttering my thoughts lately . . .
it's really just a matter of forcing myself to sit down and write rather than read, watch, or whatever . . .
this modern world is too full of distractions . . .
for all that we create, takes away from our creativity . . .
it seems that the world's true genius (defined by society's standards) . . .
would've long since commited suicide . . .
anyway . . .
let's see, something constructive . . .
hey, i went to the dentist the other day (yep, i have bad teeth) . . .
and wouldn't you know it, i was given another metaphor . . .
i've had some bad dentistry performed on me in the past . . .
and if you've never been drilled before numbness, i can attest that it is a very painful procedure . . .
after one such occasion i posited that all dentists, before they are licensed . . .
should have to have a root canal performed on them without any pain relief . . .
my reasoning was that if they only knew what that experience felt like . . .
there's no way they would under numb the operating area . . .
if they were to intentionally inflict such pain onto someone else, they would lose their license to practice . . .
see, i think of these things all the time as a way to create a better society . . .
anyway, i think it's much easier to trust a dentist that has had the experience of that kind of pain . . .
than to put that same trust into a dentist without that experience . . .
why, because he has the ability to empathize . . .
and, it would seem likely that, one who empathizes with your pain . . .
would at the same time do most anything possible to prevent that pain. . .
so what does this have to do with anything other than filling cavities . . .
how about this? . . .
our Savior came down to earth to feel our pain . . .
he had blisters on his feet . . .
he had headaches . . .
his flesh has been torn through with iron . . .
he has felt pain . . .
moreso than we can fully comprehend or imagine, much less endure . . .
so with that in mind, can we not realize that the pains and trials that we do go through . . .
are necessary if we are to become, as we say, full on Christ? . . .
if we endure the necessary without complaining, realizing that it is for the best . . .
we can become more than we ever imagined . . .


3 December 2001

so, another month has come and gone and so i have squandered much of it away . . .
i have really struggled with motivation in the past and it has eagerly re-reared its ugly head once again . . .
and i have such a knack for making excuses . . .
well, i have at least been reading the Bible fairly regularly and with the implimentation of an accountability partner. . .
it's quite possible that there'll be much more to be heard from this mind of mine. . .
anyway . . .
here's a nugget, for dealing with motivation and feelings of insignificance . . .
i was reading in Ezekiel today . . .
where God is telling Ezekiel that he needs to go to the people of Israel and deliver the message of God . . .
and check this oddity . . .

"'But none of the people of Israel will be willing to listen; they will not even listen to me. All of them are stubborn and defiant.'"
- Ezekiel 3:7

well, that quizzical command got me thinking . . .
they won't listen, but try to tell them anyway . . .
how many times have i been dissuaded from doing something because i couldn't see the results . . .
why witness to so and so? they never listen . . .
and God says, tell them anyway . . .
hmmm . . .
why am i writing this journal, nobody is reading it? . . .
write it anyway . . .
hemm . . .
over and over in the Bible, men of God have done what God commanded despite God also telling them it would have little effect . . .
why do something if it is so insignificant? . . .
the significance is in the obedience . . .
it's all a matter of understanding . . .
and we don't understand what the full picture is . . .
but we do understand (or we should at least) that we need to obey God when he speaks to us . . .
but nobody will listen to me . . . .
say it anyway . . .
go . . .