Mobile Minutes: Mudout


Praise God for natural disasters. Seriously. Working at relief sites through the years really helped when moving into my own home.

Including “mudouts”. These were events that took place after a flood. Kid, sludge, and everything else would be scooped out of the primary floor of homes and businesses. Freezers and refrigerator, that in some cases hadn’t had power for weeks, would be opened up. That unleashed Pandora’s box of death, diseases, and maggots. Cleaning out these containers still proves to be the worst experience I’ve ever had with cleanup. However, today I’m grateful that I did it so many years ago.

I stepped into our garage today to put away a few tools, and I noticed a crimson liquid pooling at the bottom of our refrigerator that we kept in the garage.

It was dead.

So, I’ve spent the last hour discarding rotten meat from our freezer, spooled fruit in our refrigerators, and also cleaning up the pools of blood from the entire unit.

Needless to say, I’m grateful that I had the prior experience to stomach today’s events.

-D-

XXXI: Political Science


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

I received a degree in Political Science because I wanted to seek out ‘truth’. At the time I had no idea what that looked like, how it could be used, and why it even mattered. Through lectures, textbooks, essays, and forums I spent my time trying to understand concepts such as rhetoric, manipulation, persuasion, and politicking.

Several years through college and several after, I still seek after that ‘truth’. I’m still curious as to the functionality of humans when it comes to interaction with each other, unspoken hierarchies, and the systems of which we have decided to govern one another.

Truly, there is no better time to be alive like today in order to witness all these questions unravel before your own eyes.

Receiving a degree in Political Science, as I’ve joked with my students, allows you to go one of two ways in life:

  1. Jump in over your head in the enjoyment of politics and the study of it
  2. Realize how unstable the world is and run away

…I’m still in the process of running.

My Facebook friends list is getting shorter by the week; pro or con arguments against political enemies or corporate conglomerate actions are enough to cause me to step away from the social media world. Reality is, everyone is upset about something or someone, and they firmly believe that their viewpoint is the dominate view compared to any other opposing thought.

There is a reason I do not speak much when it comes time for politics at the dinner table. In the past year I’ve witnessed teargas in Missouri, I’ve studied riots in California, and tried to understand economic sabotage by business both local and abroad.

I do desperately wish I had an answer that would explain the way that this world works. I’ve seen churches divide, and Christian’s step away from their faith, I’ve breathed in hypocrisy and on several occasions witnessed that a physical church building does not indeed keep the devil away.

I’m not overly sure which is harder to be in today’s world:

  1. One who holds a Political Science degree that tries to avoid political conversations
  2. A Christian that tries to avoid political conversations

In several instances I’ve come to believe that my social anxiety doesn’t stem from struggling to communicate with other sentient creatures. It stems from trying to understand that one election, one riot, one building on fire, or one country at war doesn’t describe our world as a whole.

The truth is far more painful to accept I’ve learned.

We are ruined.

We live in a global society that is dictated so strongly by the ways of which a secular culture breathes; in many instances the faith…a faith…is hardly recognizable. The reality is understanding that this world is so messed up, and personally from my education, I was taught that concept a long, long time ago. Additionally, if we’re thinking that the action by the masses is something new, we’ve obviously lost grasp of what history has taught us.

I can’t take a stand on political matter. I can’t examine and explain racial profiling and reactions that so many have towards one another. I can’t determine the cause of inflation, oil prices, or self proclaimed terrorists and their actions throughout the world.

I can only explain the fact that our world was ruined from the beginning (give or take a few days and one piece of fruit). I can examine and teach that in many ways, most likely, global life will continue to struggle. Masses will die, dynasties will end, and civilizations will collapse.

History tells us that.

I can also use historical text and ancient religious scholars to condemn the acts of so many; especially those who claim to be of one faith…or another.

Finally, I can take note that through my own religious teachings and upbringing, that my job isn’t to condemn, to judge, to execute, or to reject. I’m only supposed to love and protect.

Life is not a battlefield between…
…Hillary & Trump
…white & black
…USA & Mexico
…Christian & Muslim

It is simply about…
…love & hate
…good & evil
…ignorance & truth

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Raccoon Trials


It’s 12:30 AM. Neko and Oliver (cats) are hissing, spitting, and swatting at our patio window.

Why?

I turned on the patio light to see a large grey puff ball staring at me. Behold! The American raccoon.

Two unique reasons to observe this creature:
1. There is no stairs to our second story patio. That boy pulled a straight-up Spidey move.
2. Due to finding a tick after my afternoon run, my running shoes were left on the patio. Within reach of the raccoon. 30 minutes away from a severe thunderstorm.

I’m grateful to report that our cats are trustworthy (I almost typed that with a straight face), I won the battle of the shoes, and MC’s suggestion for ridding ourselves of these creatures?

Just throw some cheap dog food out in the yard.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: No Shutdown


Gears are spinning, laying here, searching for rest to find me. It is another silent night with chaos in my head. Pondering futures, ignoring pasts, and attempting to forge ahead.

I’ve learned that I march to my own drum because stepping in rhythm to anyone else’s deprives myself of unique opportunities; constructing my own destiny.

I cannot focus on what was; the temptations to overflow the heart of petty history blocks out my potential, inherent responsibilities.

-D-

XXXI: Decades Lost


Blinking and understanding that life that once was is no longer, and will shall not be remembered, must be forgotten, and memory is an intolerable sin of humanity’s fall.

Did any of that make sense?

It’s 2016. The modern world is alive and well, my generation has taken over the voting booths, polling places, and work force. We are everywhere, it is an infestation on levels that I would have never been able to imagine even in the darkest recesses of my mind.

Why do I not fit in?

It is to the point of frustration. I don’t understand the connotation of potentially lying one’s way through life in order to appease the public and the masses, and for that action to accepted as a cultural norm. Why? The people I was taught to be like, Paul, John, Jesus…none of them conformed, none of them fit in, so why is it wrong when I still struggle to do the same?

Sometimes you come off as arrogant and pretentious.

Your body language gives people the sensation that you know more compared to them.

The tone of your voice indicates that you are defensive.

Have you looked at your body posture? Stop crossing your arms at church, you look like you don’t want to be there.

You don’t have to say that you’re miserable. The way you act says that without the words.

How did life become so complicated and difficult to translate? Why do we spend so much time and energy trying to find second meanings, real meanings behind people’s words? Why does a pastor’s words cause me think that I need to see a behavioral specialist because I struggle working with other people? Am I that sinful? Am I that flawed? Am I truly designed incorrectly by God?

Did He make a mistake?

Something that I don’t think people take into consideration with their words (irony) is that eventually those burdens are overbearing to the individual receiving them. Eventually they get to a point where they believe they are so rotten that they truly should be discarded by the enjoyment of societal gains. We use words, assuming they mean little, and focus so hard on the actions that we don’t ingest the meaning, the passion, the potential truth of the words. We treat conversations like whispers and pretend they never happened until we feel offended, we feel threatened, we feel that someone doesn’t like us.

We scrub our soul, trying to understand what toxicity exists within the pores of our mind’s crevices. We are frequently, passive aggressively, informed that we are wrong and flawed. However, even when desired, remedies are never provided. When humanity cannot provide the needed resources, it only makes sense that many consult historical, religious texts for guidance. When happens when the text conflict with the behavior of the present majority. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who budges and who accepts the problems that fall within their own realm of responsibility?

I stay out of election news, I avoid politics, and I rarely discuss the military. I try to avoid all conflict when possible, and I don’t go into conversations looking for a fight. I’ve spent, what feels to be decades now, trying to resolve the ongoing social issue that states that I can’t avoid chaos. That I have to go against the grain. That I have to be different.

When does society, if they ever do, begin the accept the idea that I do not dream at night of the tumultuous points of action that I can partake in? When does a culture begin to actual practice what they preach and accept a person because of their unique identity?

Our greatest lie at this point is announcing that we’re adoptive of all people, yet still ensuring that those who don’t measure up, are made very well aware of their failures to be measured by our stick.

-D-

XXXI: No Apologies


Frequently I’m reminding of the adage that if you’ve been gone from your blog for a while, don’t come back as a writer…apologizing for being gone. The reality is that unless you’re a reality star, the world didn’t even realize that you were gone.

The earth keeps moving.

The earth is moving.

The earth moves.

Caught between a funeral and a deductible for a smartphone (this is a thing now); life just keeps moving in our weird, strange, and sometimes stressful household. My grandmother finally passed away, resulting in myself spending quality time with my family for four days in a town of 1000 people. My dream is to one day properly write down this event in text so that all can understand why life is sometimes as humorous as it is scary. The third quarter at school has ended and spring break begins on Friday. Overall, tranquility is a word that would be appropriate with the current trends of my own life.

At one point I was fearful of tranquility; equating it with compromising and settling. Things I feared, but sleeping with windows open, enjoying green grass, and running through our local community really has hit in stride with me the openness of seeing tranquility not as potentially just a sin, but perhaps also a blessing.

When the internal struggles of life calm down, that’s when we find our opportunity to critique, adjust, and learn about ourselves. With the quieter time that I’ve found in recent weeks I’ve started to take a closer look at the social aspect of myself…or…to be realistic; the struggle of it.

From school to church my social skills are in need of adjustment. In my head so many things make sense; I completely understand standing in the corner of a room listening to conversations without saying anything. That seems normal in my own mind, but that is a failure of understanding how it lacks of social drive of interaction with people around me. Last weekend, and this bothered Darco to no end, I found myself standing in the corner of our local running store. I had just finished my first race of the season, I was enjoying some snacks, and watching other people conversate within the building.

Turns out, as Darco stated sternly, I looked incredibly awkward acting as a grown version of a middle school wallflower. Internally, I understood that my choice was to observe not to interact. I didn’t want to interact because I wasn’t sure how, and just watching and analyzing topics of conversation was much easier. Whether that’s true or not is yet to be determined, but the potential body language that was shown toward my own teammates could have been rather poor. Even if the tendency was not meant to be negative.

School is a similar situation. I take sole responsibility for this; some instances throughout the year have shown that I struggle interacting with my peers. No worries dear reader; I interact with 12 and 13 year olds just fine. However, inside a middle schools it’s crucial that teachers work together. There is no greater sense of teamwork in elementary or high school; middle truly is where adults have to interact in order to lay the framework of success for our students.

Turns out that this is something that is a struggle for me. It doesn’t feel natural to listen, to accept, and not to work alone (I sound like some of my students in this sentence). I can say that it’s something that I’ve worked on throughout the school year; there’s some evidence of growth. However, it is still something that needs work.

Our church group is similar. Yes, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll interact. However, most meetings are rather manic. I’m either overly bubbly, conversation driven or…like last week…I had no desire or need to communicate with the people around me. As you could imagine it always raises questions of if there’s something on my mind, if I’m in a bad mood, if I’m not feeling well, etc…

The overall point between these three recent examples is that I’ve been informed, shown, and demonstrated of an error that I have in my conduct between myself and people relative to my own age. At first that was a very hard pill to swallow. As time passed and meditation took place, I began to see that this has been a social issue that I’ve dealt with since I was a very young child. Sure, we could state that it was due to being raised as an only child, but Darco is actually really good at this social thing. I don’t know what the reason for the action, but I’m grateful that it has been brought to my attention.

Here is why:

If something like this had been shown to me five, ten years ago (it probably was); I would have brushed it off as something that was obviously wrong with everyone else. The arrogance of refusal in accepting that I’m at fault, I’m in error, or that I’m just plain wrong is something that I would have never admitted to. It pains me to type those words. With that said, I’m blessed to be surrounded by people at school, at home, and at church that have zero issues informing me that I’m ‘off’ in how I’m presenting myself to other people. To several, if not all of you, this may seem as such a small issue to have. For me, it’s almost a relief that I can internally accept the truth that I have issues to work on just like everyone else. Additionally, I like the fact that this is an example of an area to develop that doesn’t just affect life in one’s social setting, but also in their work environment.

How’s that for a random topic to type about?

This topic has been in my head and my heart for quite a while. I wanted to type about it so that I could feel secure about ensuring the ‘public’ knows that I have problems. It’s relieving for me because I’m willing to share a social development issue that I’m at fault for, and to state to the general public that it’s something I’m working on.

Consider the typing of this to be liberating if you will.

-D-