Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's late, and I'm just back from the gym, about to go to sleep (or rather, about to lay in bed and play Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for a bit), but I've been pondering at random points during the day (at the encouragement of my wonderful girlfriend) Christianity in today's world and I feel I should solidify my thoughts.

You might be noticing a sort of God/religion trend in my posts, and I hope you don't mind, but I'm not trying to make any of you Christian that don't want to be. In fact, let me tell you that, after talking with my animation "professor" this evening, I apparently have a mindset much closer to Eastern (Buddhist?) thought, as I look often at the environment before the individual. For, well, the environment is what is beautiful to me, and this is apparently what Easterners look at first, whereas Westerners are much more likely to look at the individual (Jesus!).

So while I sip my apple cider and deal with this slowly overbearing mustache getting in the way of drinking fluids, I wonder how the transition came about that has changed what exactly a Christian is, and in fact, what has a Christian meant throughout the ages? Unfortunately, I am no scholar at all, more a naive philosopher, who likes to think that Christianity was the socialist struggle against capitalist/totalitarian oppression. Jesus fought with his words (and miracles of healing) against doing everything for oneself. It was always about doing things for others and ultimately, for God. And God was everyone! That seemed always to be the point he was making. In letting a poor man die, we were letting God die. In praising God, we were praising our own existence. The path, Jesus argued, was to live in harmony, trying to bring everyone up rather than creating crisply defined tiers as are found in capitalist societies then and now. He and his disciples fought to change society.

But what is society now and where does Christianity lie in the spectrum? Christianity now is about maintaining our current values. So what that says is that we have done what Jesus asked, and we want it to stay that way. We have found Jesus's path, and need no more. But what is Christianity really like as seen by myself? (I would argue "as seen by the majority" but I won't pretend to know such statistics.)

Christianity is a force by which many are led to believe that only belief in Christ will save us. Only by strictly following guidelines set forth by one man (and later translators) may we shine in the light of God. No! Jesus was against that! He wanted us to break with the standards of the time and be willing to LOVE EVERYONE. He didn't have contempt for others. And my issue with this whole thing is that Christianity can still be found marketing itself as "underground". Various Christian organizations promote themselves as the new underground. Join in counter-culture, they say. But Christianity is the culture, and the problem is that what Christianity has become is not a way of life, but rather a set of beliefs.

Get it? Christ doesn't matter. As far as I can tell He knew that. He only wanted us to look at him for inspiration. He would have preferred us to follow him like many follow Buddha. A teacher to mentor us. A light burning strong in the night to find solace in. And if we don't see that light, or we don't need that light, then fine. As long as we try to find our way through the rocky tumbling seas.

In the end, we will be embraced one way or another and rejoin the universe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday nights, a broad

I clear the night sky of electricity
I arch my back but lean forward
I'm lost in the tunnels and streets
Carried by no particular feet
To destinations of comfort and social ambiguity.
You're not here
Not so near
The waves smear
The shores
Of refuse.
And you'll sit thinking of me, beside the lonely crowded bar
Where I'm not.
I'm caught.
I fought
For you from my heart
Random chances blown out of proportion.
Dissolved into mists around who I am.
In your arms
I fade into you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Good and Bad

When I was a little kid I took CCD classes. These were Catholic church lessons that I went to once a week to color in pictures of Jesus and learn that God loves us. One of these times our teacher asked us who God loves, and I've always been one to answer the questions in class, so I did.

"God loves good people," I responded, feeling pretty sure of myself. But the teacher looked at me and explained that no, God actually loves all people. This was new to me, yet as soon as she told me this, I knew my answer had been deeply wrong. How could the world really go on if God had it out for bad people? cause people do lots of bad things. And then how do we define people as good or bad? Do we average out the good and the bad elements? How many of our thoughts on even those attributes are just opinions?

I still struggle with accepting people. It's funny, because I'd like to think I'm tolerant, but it is a constant battle to look beyond the faults of others. Maybe I can't get beyond my own faults? God loves all of us, but does he love me? If he doesn't, then I need to be better. If I need to be better, certainly every flaw I spot in someone else could be improved upon.

God loves all people. But I don't. I get stuck in the mires of judgment. I wade through the swamps of filth that inhabit my mind as I look up at the countless bright leaves that inhabit the character of people. I see the red, poisonous leaves. With difficulty I look at the other leaves of green. Couldn't I just drop my head instead of craning it, couldn't I just take note of the thick, well-worn and comfortable trunk of that person? Or maybe the spindly trunk, trying to hold up poison while green leaves struggle forth? Or even the branches, couldn't I tell which ones have the fungus eating away at them and which others are strong and peacefully climbing to the heavens?

I am in the forest, and I can't see my own leaves, I'm caught under them, and not letting them be part of me. I need to become all of myself, I need to accept what is me. Then I might notice how beautiful the trees are, how glorious this forest is.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


That's right. The arduous task that many billions of people go through everyday to get from their home to their place of work. Of course, now that I'm thinking of my commute, I wonder what exactly would be the shortest commute. If a homeless man begs for change, is his change from unconsciousness to consciousness a commute? Well, I guess now that all depends on your view, but in the end, I guess the point is that no matter the distance, physical or psychological, it is a task. And I think I have a great commute.

My commute takes approximately an hour, with me leaving me walking to the T (the Boston subway system), taking it for about 15 minutes, waiting another 15 minutes, and then riding a train for about 20 minutes. After I leap off the train with a superhuman jump, I walk not much more than a minute to work. That is a great commute because I don't do anything for that time, it's a period where I can focus on my own thoughts or read the thoughts of others. I love that feeling. It gives me peace for a good 45 minutes, amidst the madness of others rushing from point to point (not that I don't sometimes [read: often] run to the T). But I get to relax for a time, and I like to read or play games on my Nintendo DS. These two activities allow me to settle back and enjoy the work of others, instead of feeling like I should be accomplishing something.

There is something about the environment as well, with the throngs of people milling forward and backward, shuffling and asleep standing up or hyped on coffee, that impresses one with society. Why, I can't really say at this point. [Or perhaps I'm just leaving out a voluminous tangent on crowd dynamics.] But the unique people who don't accept normalcy or strive for that impossible standard are the ones that I love to watch. The man I enjoyed watching this week was a musician in a T station, and I agree with my friends who are impressed by the T performers, he was good. He was a flutist! How about that? And he was playing Ravel's Bolero, a song I don't normally care for (too repetitive), but this man standing in the middle of the crowds playing Bolero, it really was a wonderful experience.

That man made the location. He transformed it with his simple and well-intoned flute-playing. I love that kind of person, and I wonder who he is. What brings such inclination to him? Does he enjoy playing the flute as much as I enjoyed hearing it? When did he start? Was this always what he wanted to do? Probably not, but to him I tip my hat. He was stepping out of the crowd. He didn't hurry along like myself and the thousands, millions, and billions of others. His art made my morning better. And now don't I wish I could pay him to continue his art.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy new year

In new years
That might surface
With no purpose
But end
That tear and rend
A vicious blend
I’m seeking to fight
Late in this night
With victomless might
I’ll try to write
Against those leaders
Ignoring the bleeders
Losing limbs and other parts
Maybe most of all hearts
Can I see you cry
Without celebs in your eye?
I try to fly beyond it,
But I get hit
In the pit of my stomach
Dark and black
Take me back
To where I was
Looking on war
I dropped my jaw
At what I saw
The children dead
The parents bled
Wounds I read
In newspapers and nets
On trains and jets
But I just did nothing
While they cried and died
I think I’m running
From the monster come munching
The grass and trees
He don’t notice the pleas
Masses on their knees
Just more of the same
To put up buildings in some name
Does Dubya get the blame
Or a dedicated building for his crimes
Cause presidents so deserve
No matter how they serve
In these trying times
I’m sick of these rhymes
And their associated subjects
I wish they were rejects
Instead of the headlines
Pumped out for deadlines
That take in the cash
Like Iraq
Overbearing like Shaq
A slowdown for us
We took the wrong bus
I guess I better get off and start walking
Cause I'm sure tired of talking.