Seclusion Commentary

Here we go again.
The truest sentences.
I am more content in this quarantine than I ever imagined I would be.
I am finding some rhythms within social distance and ways to keep from feeling alone.
I am talking to A LOT of people on the phone haha.
I am afraid of the unknowns in this unprecedented situation.
I am getting kind of tired of the word ‘unprecedented.’
Losing an old friend to this virus, admittedly, there was a long pause in communication between us, is scary and deeply sad.
He was unfailingly kind to me.
It feels like there is something always in my periphery; a lingering sense that things are not right.
However, there is also an optimism that through this, I will cherish things more deeply on the other end.
A hug.
A touch on the shoulder.
A laugh.
A crowded dinner table.
I am struggling less with depression right now.
I am not ‘desiring things to end’ or to die right now.
My conversations with God seem a little bit more authentic.
There are times that I make bargains with him.
I tell him that I don’t think this is my time to go.
I wonder about ‘his timing.’
Sometimes, I feel that he is very distant and cold like a big scientist conducting the ‘human experiment.’
There are other times when I call him “father.”
Sometimes, I wanna run as far as I can from my “christian upbringing.”
But, still, I find myself writing worship songs.
Every poem seems to bend toward faith matters also.
I am so blessed with friendship.
I would also like to be blessed with a marriage to a wonderful woman.
I do feel that is coming.
I worry too much about my own physical appearance and sometimes I project it on to women I am interested in.
I would like to make money off my creativity and also feel money can cloud the art.
There are areas of my life that lack stability and I am afraid to bring another person into the mess.
I can see every person as a human being right now.
I see everyone as a brother or sister, the body of God – his church.
I also see how frustrated and hostile we become at slight differences in perspective.
I am calling you to love anyway.
I enjoy this practice of writing my truth because it forces all the bull shit out.
I am on a journey to find peace.
My reservoir of hope seems more full.
Thank you for what you add to my life.
Our connections are even more deep than we realize.

With love,
Your friend Ty

Brother

When between two brothers
an argument divides,
Cast pride beneath
and anger aside

Brothers, in their nature
will posture and fight
But do not sleep in anger
bid quarrell good night!

I love my dear brothers!
But evil tries take
all the good that we’ve built
all the changes we make

The love of a brother
can be nothing but strong
If something stands between,
you must right the wrong!

Riddle Road

The grove of trees beside our house
shields the city back. The honeysuckle
sprawls and covers us from our unsightly
neighbors; peering like a sea of eyes
from the looming apartment complex.

From the fire pit, the house towers
almost impossibly tall, looking while
the west side sparkles with a thousand
different colored lights.

A home to so many – sectioned off into
separate dwellings – each radiating a
different kind of energy.

The porch, lifted above the sidewalk,
provides the high-ground should any dare
to storm the castle gates. Though, we are
often too tipsy of guardsmen for such an
important task.

I will not soon forget this place I’ve lived.
I will not run from nor regret. The couple
that I share it with, are the best I’ve ever met.

Jody

Walk into the service with your head hung low; a sign of misplaced respect for the deceased. Hug old friends and shake the hands of people you only slightly remember.

The deacons tell you to pick up a stone from a basket at the entrance. Curious, you think, but you gladly hold the small gray stone in your palm and massage the smooth surface with your fingers.

Smile and wince simultaneously at folks who nod as you pass them by in the tight pews. Too tight, you think, why do they make them so close together?

Throw the back of your brown, tweed sportcoat behind you. Notice, for the first time, that every man is wearing a black or navy blue suit with a white shirt and a dark tie and every woman is wearing a black dress with white fringe somewhere. 

Organ music swells. You wonder how they build instruments like that. So encompassing, the sound.

The service begins. The minister speaks like poetry. A rhythm that’s unmistakable. There’s no words out of place. Each word is as beautiful as the last. Each word carries a cosmic weight.

Friends and siblings speak effortlessly about her kindness, her wit, her writing, her love. Your friends cry when her sons get up to speak. When was the last time you saw any of them cry? You can’t recall really, but it’s been a long time, you’re sure of that.

They get through their short speeches with indelible strength. They pause when they must, to choke back all the things that come rushing forth. You are proud of them and wonder how you will do when you find yourself in their shoes one day.

You feel something hanging all around the room. God? You ask the inside of your head. He doesn’t answer audibly, though, maybe he doesn’t need to.

Her husband speaks. He is a good man and his goodness is profound in that moment. How deep his love is for her. Is not was. Is.

Piano playing, poems recited, favorite blues songs echo from the speakers. All of it quiet reflection for a woman who was like a second mother to you. You cry too, but mostly because it’s beautiful.

The minister tells the congregation to remember the stone they are holding in their hand. This stone is from Rhode Island. She has been going to the beach where the stones were collected since she was a small child. Feel the weight of the stone. Feel its texture. Cup it in your hands. Now, imagine that in one of her many years at that beach, she may have picked up the stone you are holding in yours hands. Then, think of a word that describes your relationship with her.

“Mother”

That’s the only word in your head. Mother to her sons. Mother to her son’s friends; adopted and brought in to the family.

The minister asks everyone to get up, row by row, and place the stone in a basin at the front; an act of letting go.

You let the stone go and listen to the sound it makes as it hits the rocks below it with a slight thud. It sounds like a final page turning and a book closing. It sounds like closure.  

You throw your arms around her sons and her husband. You sing a hymn you’ve never heard and you leave; with your eyes forward and your head up, a true sign of respect for your second mom.

Why It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel About Your Friends

“It doesn’t matter how much you love someone. What matters is that they know it.” 

LINK HERE 

Get some friends

Let me gloat for a moment: I am so blessed with awesome friends! I have amazing friends at school and at home and this makes it difficult to leave one place because I do not want to stop hanging out with one set of cool people but easy at the same time because I know another set of equally cool people awaits me on the other end.

I can honestly say I do not know where I would be without these people in my life. Probably in some corner, rocking back in worth all sad and stuff. Ok maybe that is extreme and paints a weird picture of Emo me thinking ominous thoughts, but at the same time I cannot imagine life without them.

I have said this before but I’ll say it once more because repetition is not always a bad thing, in fact it really helps me to remember:  I want to thank God for the friends he has put in my life. They are such amazing people who fill me up with joy every time I am with them. I want to remember right now when things get tough. I want to remember right now when these people move away and I do not see them as often. I want to remember right now when I say things like “Why does this have to happen to me?”

Friendship is a gift from God. Plain and simple. If you don’t have awesome friends then you need to get some (sorry if that is harsh but I must be blunt). Think of it like a job at first. You have to put yourself out there and hang out with a bunch of different people and basically hold interviews to figure out what kind of person is worthy of your time because it is valuable. Then spend a ton of time with the ones that make the cut and soon it will feel organic, seamless and then it will only get better exponentially from there. Do not stop until you have found the people that get you, I mean all of you, every part from that stupid human body trick to your obsessive love of awkward dancing to techno music (that one’s too specific so you know that’s what I’m about). Have awesome friends because if you do not, trust me, you are missing something incredible.