We pose for each other all the time,

offering our best, our most attractive side,

our best self,

hoping people will like us.

But we’re so many things.

We are quiet and loud and sexy and ugly

and smart and dumb and loving and spiteful.

All of which doesn’t play on camera,

but that’s the thing.

You can tell a contrived image a mile away,

but a shred of honesty

circles the globe.

Show yourself today.

Stay you =)

We’re Complicated

I’ve been on the inside. I’ve been on the out.

Let me tell you this:

That golden veneer, it’s only that.

Inside, it’s we’re all cracked,

we have all the same wear and tear.

And that ugly mask? the hideous shadow?

it hides a heart of gold.

We are all complex beings,

having both the divine and the grotesque inside us.

Will we dare to get to know each other enough,

to see both and still love?

The People Want to Sing

The people are leading now,

with their voices,

They don’t needed to be steered,

forcibly guided by instrumentation.

I set my guitar down and sing with them,
the sensation is like setting my bare feet

in a cool stream,

I can feel my soul revived,
flowing downward for miles and miles

Until we finally meet the sea,
become one, evaporate

and ascend into the heavens
to sing once more.

The Deeper You Go

There is a strange interplay to be found

between science and magic,

I could explain intimacy in terms of chemical reactions

Oxytocin is released

when an owner pets his dog,

when a child suckles at her mother’s breast,

when two people make love in the night

This oxytocin is the hormone responsible for bringing us closer together, for creating bonds,

but what service would I do to anyone to just leave it at that

Intimacy is so much more, and yet

still the simple matter of biology remains

Life is both an equation and an occasion,

a formula all people can enjoy.

Does knowing the inner working of a machine make it any less magical,

seeing the backstage of a performance any less engaging?

Indeed, tearing away the curtain, revealing the man at the controls

only makes it more beautiful,

if there is any beauty to be found in the first place.

That is the division between fact and fraud,

the latter can only take your so far

before the thrill expires,

whereas the former only gets more amazing

the deeper you go.

The Desire to be Known

I think it’s fascinating that,

as long as the disciples knew Jesus,

they had they hardest time knowing Him as He was,

Savior and LORD, God of the universe.

The concept was just too high for them.

Yes, they did not yet have the discernment of the Holy Spirit

while He was with them in flesh,

but I don’t think much has changed since then.

The more years I spent with Jesus,

the larger and more intimate and mysterious He becomes.

He reminds me that He is LORD and I am man,

but He want to be known just as I would know my wife

or parents or friends.

So, in a way, that invites me to appreciate the mystery of those

around me, to constantly be amazed by them,

as they lower their guard and I lower mine,

and we all catch a glimpse of something beautiful,

something God designed in the very beginning.

Fiction and Social Intelligence

I read a fascinating article about the link between fiction and social intelligence. In ancient literature, the narrative primarily focused on the external, on battles and bloodlines. Even emotion was expressed externally- via the ripping of clothes, the tearing out hair, etc. Over time, especially around the time of the Greeks, we begin to see a shift from that external world to the internal one. We begin to focus more on the mind, the heart, even if they had a fundamental distrust of the latter.

We see this shift affect even religion. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we watch as holiness moves from what you do to what you feel. That is why David, in his psalms, is able to count himself faultless, because in his mind he has kept all the dictates of the law up to that point in his life. Then Christ comes in and presses on beyond the law to the heart. Now, obedience to God is not so much about murder as about hate, not so much about adultery but about lust. From that point on, our spiritual walk begins to capsulate all of us, not just what others see.

But the narrative goes deeper. With Shakespeare, we are given soliloquies and asides, painstakingly pointing out the mental-emotional state of the speaker as the character in question literally BREAKS FROM THE PRESENT ACTION to give his impassioned speech.

Skip ahead many years, as we move from theater to film. Now, the performer does not have to project his feelings out to a distant audience. No, as camera equipment continues to evolve, we are able to get closer and closer to the performer, to see his or her every nuance of facial feature and movement in hyper-clear detail. And, as the medium changes, so does the approach. Method acting was born out of shift, challenging performers to explore every aspect of the character, from backstory to emotional state. Everything is laid out on the table. Classical Shakespeare performers are taught to believe that nothing exists outside of the written scene. Method actors are taught that the prescribed scene is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as the character is concerned. And the audience is not only invited, but many times sucked vacuum-tube style into this every deepening world.

As the narrative becomes more emotionally are, so too does the reader/audience member. Because the reader, as the article most insightfully points out, is a co-creator of the story. I mean, who doesn’t feel a certain ownership of a certain text that they feel deeply connected to? Who doesn’t feel a sense of profound loss or accomplishment when the story is finished? So, as the narrative deepens, so too does the reader.

Now, I believe that it so important to read and be open to every style of literature/media, because all have something to offer, and all have their own inherent strength and weaknesses. The ancients had a wonderful sense of history and accomplishment. The moderns have a profound sense of self-awareness. The ancients lacked the verbiage to explore the totality of human emotion. The moderns can be so myopically focused on the moment, that they lose sense of the bigger picture. So, the challenge is to read, watch, experience everything, as you continue develop your own sense of taste and interest. You will never find the same book or movie twice, because you are always different. So, be different, be open, and have fun.

There is so much wonderful material out there. So, go exploring. You may be happily surprised by what you find, both about yourself and the world at large.