A PRAYER OF SORTS

Image Dear God,

I’m going to write this because for some reason I’m having a difficult time kneeling and closing my eyes and all that. I think the last time I prayed was about a year ago. It was that night when I took those Adderall’s from that guy at work and they didn’t mix well with the Wellbutrin and I had to leave because I felt like my soul was seeping out of my extremities and orifices. Remember that? It was also the night that little boy shot himself on accident in Springville and all I could do was think about William and how if he died I would want to die too. I went and sat in my car for about an hour in the parking lot and cried. I cried so hard and deep—it was something very foreign to me. It was scaring me, actually—the uncontrollable flow of tears and sobs. I knew that I was losing it. I could feel my mind packing—taking his little mind-suitcase out of his little mind-closet and putting it on his little mind-bed in my head— stuffing all of my thoughts, ideas, memories, and sanity into it.
“I’m taking the sanity and I’m going to my mother’s—do you understand me? I’m leaving you, Bryan.” Mind said.
“Please, Mind, don’t leave me. I need you.” I said, pulling a chunk of hair from my skull and sprinkling the fibers over the steering wheel.
You remember all of this, don’t you? I drove around Orem like a crazy person and ended up in the Anytime Fitness parking lot where I called my mom. She could tell that I’d hit rock bottom and that I was digging a hole down there, so she and my dad came and got me and took me to their place and calmed me down a bit. That little kid, though—shit. I couldn’t get that out of my head.
Why do little kids have to die? Why does stuff like that happen? I know you get these types of questions all the time, but seriously—what are you thinking? I know life is supposed to be difficult, and it’s a test, and we’re supposed to endure, and we’re not meant to have all of the answers, and we’re supposed to have faith and be humble and all that, but sometimes—I don’t know, it just seems like you’ve let things get out of hand. It’s supposed to be difficult, but it’s not supposed to be impossible, right? And I know that the answer for that one is Jesus and the Atonement and repentance—I know the answers. I guess I’m just asking for you to throw us a bone every once in a while.
How awesome would it have been if you had reached down out of Heaven and landed those planes that crashed on 9-11? Just reached down with your huge God fingers and landed them safely on the ground—as if they were just little Micro-Machine toys. If you had done something like that everyone would totally be on your side. I know that a lot of good comes from bad stuff that happens—again, I know the answers—but sometimes the answers just aren’t good enough. All of us “sign-seekers” need more than that.
Want to know what I think? No? You already know what I think? Well I’m going to tell you anyway. I think you need to do some soul searching of your own. I think you need to relax for a minute and do some kind of meditation, or Yoga, or both. Think back to how you were in the Old Testament. That’s the kind of God we need right now. You were all over the place back then. You were showing your powers left and right. You were killing bad people and wiping out evil places like crazy. Remember that? What happened to that guy? Where’d he go? It’s getting old having to decipher our blessings. It’s getting old trying to see you in an abstract, metaphorical way. Why not just fly down here for a day and chill with us for an afternoon? You could come to a Barnes and Noble or something. They could put a sign up in the window:

ONE NIGHT ONLY

COME SEE GOD READ FROM HIS BEST-SELLING NOVEL:

THE OLD TESTAMENT

$5 ENTRY FEE.

(tenpercentoftheproceedswillbejustlyhandedovertogodwhiletheremainingninetypercentwillbedonatedtothefightagainsthansen’sdiseasefoundation…andonecomplimentarysmallcupofcoffeewillbeavailabletothefirsttwentyfivecustomers).

So, here I am tonight, looking in the mirror, doing some kind of self-evaluation. I’m thinking that I could have done better. I’m thinking that it’s been pretty rough. I’m thinking about how the past year has added about twenty-years of lines and wrinkles to my face— how I’ve got grey stubble in my beard now, and how it feels awkward to smile. I’m thinking about how cute I was as a kid. I’m thinking about how easy it is to change for the worse, but not for the better—kind of like that one poem that I really like—the one about the dead bees that are in that blue bowl and they’re covered with rose petals. Do you know the one I’m talking about? I think that’s how I am. I think that’s how most people are. How is it possible to be a bowl full of only rose petals?
I’m thinking about how small this planet is and how when we look up at the stars at night we’re really only looking at a minute fraction of our galaxy, which is an almost infinitely minute fraction of the universe. Then I’m thinking about the universe and wondering if it exists and how it exists and if you, God, have all of that space to cover—well, no wonder we haven’t heard from you in so long (check out this site. I think this guy did a good job at describing what I’m trying to say:http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html). The universe just keeps expanding and expanding and you can’t keep up. You didn’t expect things to be so technical and difficult. Am I right? Probably not, but I can see how it’s a possibility. Maybe you’re just embarrassed, I don’t know. Anyway, I’m not trying to be blasphemous and I’m not trying to make it seem as though I’m completely ungrateful. I don’t want you to get the idea that I think there’s nothing to be happy about in life. I’m being a bit immature and ignorant and self-depreciating right now, but I think that I mean well. Can you feel that?
I hope so.
Here’s another thing: I can literally feel the shackles of adolescence draped over me like a shawl. It’s something I have to cope with on a daily basis—this Peter-Pan-Syndrome. In a way, however, it’s also something that I’m rather proud of. I’m rather proud of this constant state of wonder and amazement and perplexity that my mind resides in—toward the world and society and the universe. It keeps me from entering oblivion. It helps me decipher what’s real and true and beautiful in this confused world.
Maybe what I’m trying to say is this: Life is beautiful… most of the time. And when it’s not beautiful, it’s interesting. I believe that when we look for the negative things in life, we’ll find them, and vice-versa.
Hmm…
Maybe what I’m trying to say is this: I know that things will work out. If things don’t work out then that’s just another way of saying that things did work out. Right?
No. That’s not it, either.
How about this:   I DONT KNOW.  
Okay, well that’s it for now.
Don’t be mad at me.
Have a good one.  

Amen.

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AN UNEXPECTED FLASH OF LOVE

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My sister sent me this picture tonight. She took it earlier today as I was saying goodbye to my son, William. There is no way that she could have known the impact that this kind act would have on me. I needed it so badly. It has saved a part of me, in a way. It has reminded me that there is no power stronger than LOVE. Sometimes we don’t know what to say, or we say the wrong things—or we just don’t say anything at all. Sometimes we don’t know how to show our love for others. It can be so, so difficult.

This picture reminded me that love can be simple. It reminded me that love, for the most part, is made manifest in the small, intimate, quiet things that we do for others.

A picture.

A letter.

A smile.

A hug.

A glance.

What are you struggling with?

I don’t have all the answers. Nobody does. But I think if we can forget ourselves every once in a while, and do something for someone else, it might help eleviate some of the pain.

Hug someone.

Smile at someone.

Send a picture to someone.

Leave a random note for a stranger.

Tell someone that everything is going to be OK.

It’s difficult, I know, but try to forget yourself sometimes.

Thanks Julianna. I love you.

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RED LIGHT. GREEN LIGHT.

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She,

a woman,

rolls up to my right

at a red light.

I think to myself:

I could love her.

I could love this woman.

No problem.

It would be easy.

Over coffee,

or dinner and wine—

it could happen.

It would happen.

She would tell me things—

personal things

she’s never told anyone.

I would listen.

I would sympathize—

empathize.

I would be perfect

for her.

She would say:

This is crazy, I know, but

it feels like

I’ve known you forever.

It feels like

you’re my best friend.

I know, I know, I know.

I would say,

holding her hand in mine,

I feel the same.

All of this was

meant to be.

 

Light turns green.

Her Mazda is faster

than my Toyota.

I follow her up a hill.

She veers left as

I press on, driving forward—

onward.

Green light.

Green light.

Green light.

Yellow light.

I slow down.

Red light.

I stop

and look to my right.

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