Invading Space

The house mess, and anyone in the way of my cleaning it, or adding to it, can kiss my ass.  And so can anyone who questions my methods but doesn’t lift a finger to DO it differently.  I’ve cleaned surfaces and gone back to find them re-cluttered.  Why?  Because it’s like this verse in the Bible, exactly like this:

Matthew 12:  43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

Fans of Dexter will recall Brother Sam (Mos Def, FFS!!), quizzed by Dexter about Sam’s inner demons (Season 6, Episode 2) :

Dexter:  So that darkness inside, it’s gone?
Brother Sam:  No.  It’s still there, but I’m fighting its ass every day.

I’m not free.  I’m a slave to the battle.  I ride its’ whims and notions instead of my own, and that’s a poem/song I’m going to write.  Coming soon to a blog near you.  The shit is, even the Bible acknowledges that LIFE is a battle and NO ONE is free from it.  The shittier is, somehow, in the midst of the battle and thereafter, we’re supposed to figure out how it works, and we look for the substitutes instead of finding real freedom.  The substitutes only leave us more enslaved than we were before (see Matthew text above.).

I’m doing battle with the clutter, with the general mess, with work, with time, with the family, with the wife, with the dog, with training the kids (and the dog), with money, and with love.
………….

That was last weekend.

THIS weekend I wanted to die, but I couldn’t do anything about it.  No, this weekend I want to die but can’t do anything about it.

THIS weekend I was a personal failure everywhere I looked, and Mrs. M is still pushing those buttons.  My daughter cried about us not having enough money to buy her a new car now that she got her driver’s license and a job that starts soon.  We have to make travel arrangements so she can have a car,  because my boss is “letting” me have a normal shift again, starting in two weeks, but I have to go in to the office again, just because she wants to be in control and even though my work from home has been fine she wants that power.  Ass hole.  Anyway, my daughter cried about the car so I’m a failure to her.

And Mrs M and I fought because the damned plumbing still leaks.  It wasn’t her fault, it was mine.  I was angry because I felt like a failure so I raised my voice with her.  But what does she expect, for fucks sake?  Dammit, Mrs M!  I’m a village idiot, not a plumber! (Reminded myself of Doctor McCoy from Star Trek for a second.  Bless you, DeForest Kelley.)

When I let Mrs M know she pushed the button Saturday night and again Sunday morning she half-apologized. So there’s that.  I fail all the time for Mrs M.  Last night’s adventure in plumbing was trying to get the hose for the shower to not leak, and I tried various things, including washers provided by the manufacturer (fail), washers I bought (fail), plumber’s tape (fail).  This morning I didn’t grind the coffee last night (fail), or have the energy to take the dog for a walk (fail).  All I did was walk him yesterday, run about town with him to his obedience class (teaching us why we’ve failed to understand our dog’s behavior and communication), cut down the tree that’s trying to wreck our house’s foundation in the back, sprayed for the ant problem, and earlier this week reinforced our daughter’s driving skills and try to encourage her (she passed the exam!), helped with cooking and made afternoon snacks on request for son and daughter, and almost kept up with dishes and laundry and sweeping and vacuuming and straightening what I could.  But I didn’t make progress about what really needs to be done, because I ran out of energy and time.

We went to church Sunday, although I really didn’t want to hear a sermon.  What I wanted to hear was the church history lesson before the sermon.  But the sermon was about how I fail to understand the nature of God.  Wait, no.  Semi-mercifully to me, he didn’t say “you,” he said “we.”  The church history lesson was interesting.  The sermon tried hard to be hopeful and empowering.  But I went home after the sermon and don’t feel the power.

I really should, my daughter is desperate for me to show my faith.  I’ve taken leaps of faith before and everything turned out basically OK.  It’s just that the last one had the WORST landing ever.  I’ve been waiting for a blessing, I’ve been waiting on the promises to be fulfilled, waiting for it to get better and it’s just not.

My back was sore Saturday and I can’t afford to go to a chiropractor; at least that’s ok on any given morning until I start moving.  I reflect back to the $700 of bloody stupid blood testing I couldn’t afford that my crap insurance company left me stuck with and my doctor unsympathetically half-laughed about when I went in for my physical, because he doesn’t give a shit that I’m poor.  Neither does the insurance company that stuck me with the fucking bill, as if I haven’t paid more in health insurance payments to amortize my own costs for both medical AND dental.  Nor the company I slave for that pays me the same shitty wages they pay people new off the fucking street after about 10 years.  Ass holes.

They ALL pretend to be sympathetic and caring when you come to them in need.  Yes, ALL of the above.  But don’t go to them twice, or you get a letter or some patronizing bullshit or worse, you get told to help yourself.  Or you get a bill for their services.

And the dog pretends to love me, but wants to bite everyone in the neighborhood AND their dogs and stick me with the insurance bills and court costs and medical bills.   We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to control him most of the time, but he’s bitten two people, one of them was in our extended family, for fucks sake.  Ass hole.  Loveable, yes.  Loveable ass hole.

I still don’t want this life.  I want a better one.  But from what I’ve read, I’m not alone.

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

“to die is gain.”  If my labor were fruitful I might have some kind of hope, like Paul.  There were also Moses, Job, Elijah, and Jonah.  It’s by a process of twisted logic, but I find these examples encouraging because I see that even if you’re spiritually huge and important like Elijah and Moses, you still can have doubts.  And, maybe it’s reasonable to think that if the people around them called them crazy, maybe they believed it, or at least, felt those waves of depression just like I do.

I can’t kill myself.  I want the kids to think there’s hope.  Maybe there is, for them. I’m not feeling it.  But I do want to see how it works out.  It doesn’t matter whether people measure up to my hopes for them.  It matters whether God proves as infinite and loving as He says he is.  It’s unfortunate I don’t get eternal proof until eternity, and a whole bunch of absolute shit can happen to me, just as it happened to prophets and apostles and martyrs before me.  I just have to figure out what faith and trust looks like for me, and then live like that.  But I’ll tell you, like those great men of the faith (and I’ll bet women too) doubted, questioned, worried, and lamented, so also with me.  I’m doing all of that.

Sparks Near Inferno’s Gate

By the time you read this it’ll be Thursday. It’s Wednesday headed toward Thursday fast, and I am trying to exercise a way to write just to write something. For those of you who might anticipate a high level of quality writing here, bless your hearts for still holding out hope…

Because, what’s the sign say over the gate to hell in Dante’s Inferno? Come on, you know this one. … No?

“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.” The most popular translation is “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

The journey begins and to me it often looks like this:

I heard a preacher on the radio, I know that’s kind of old fashioned but sometimes I’ll hear something that’ll spark my brain in some way. Well, spark it did. I understand that everyone who reads the Bible is going to come away with something different: a specific understanding, a mystery to explore further, an interesting topic, complete confusion, and so on.

It’s Christmas, but I can’t feel it.  Not now.  I feel like Santa left sadness, disappointment, darkness, worry, rage, loneliness, pain, and helplessness behind, along with reindeer shit, in my stocking. Where are you, Christmas? Whoever wrote this song found something they celebrated at the end of the song; I’m stuck between beginning and middle:

If your reaction, to reading or to life, is complete confusion, I’m right there with you, and also I’m sorry to say that my recommendation is to read more. And so it is that with Sunday’s confusing events, and the hated translation, I hoped was butchered, I have checked the Greek. What can I say, I just have weird things that push my buttons. I went to my standard resources, and read and reread. There’s a little word tacked on at the end of Luke 2:14 in the Greek. Doggone it if there is no comma, nothing exact to explain the exact implication. It just says “eudokia.” This is one place where I think King Jim’s translators got it right, though. If there’s a comma implied, it’s SO much better for me.

Curious? Go ahead: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm ; dive in. Would I steer you wrong? It’s FASCINATING, really. Next stop on the rabbit trail? I went here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g2107.

In my study, I do not see any indication that “eudokia,” “good will” is conditional and implies the requirement of God’s delight in order for Him to bequeath the promise of peace. So, though the language in the translation sometimes used implies it, the original language carries no such baggage. Thank God for that. So say whatever you feel like saying, translators who want to attach boat anchors and 16 ton weights to God’s grace. People seem to delight in doing that. Like this:

You want to get into heaven? OK, work for it. Work hard and maybe you’ll earn God’s favor.

Um… How do I know if I did enough good? And …that doesn’t answer the awkwardness of the bad things still on my conscience, so how can I trust that?

I don’t think it works that way. I believe there are no such boat anchors, because of several internal reference points in the same document. You could go back to John 3:16, which starts on the foundation that God loves the world and wants to save us. You could go to Galatians 2:16 or 3:10, which pretty much close the door on us ever measuring up to any kind of approval from God by our own good work. Or Ephesians 2:9-10, which are even more clear. Or Titus 3:3-8, which interestingly enough, makes the point to call out lazy Christ-followers who say, “OK, I’ve accepted God’s grace on my faith. I believe it, so I’m all good,” and they sit and wait for the end and don’t help anyone. There’s a thread though which says it’s not our works that save us, or restore us, or bring us into any kind of relationship with God.

There’s a point to all of this, and I’ll get back to it. It has to do with this preacher guy on the radio, and he went all the way back to Genesis with something that bugged me a little. I mean, I’ve said (above) that there are as many interpretations or understandings as there are people, so maybe the guy’s entitled to his thought process. He was talking about Christmas, and how God came to Earth “in the flesh,” or “incarnate,” which is a big word that means “in the flesh.” What he was trying to get at was that Jesus, the baby who grew to become a man, came as God’s gift of John 3:16 -“God so loved the world that he gave…” Jesus was protected into adulthood, until everything was ready and he was prepared to pay for all the bad things I ever did. OK, yeah, all the bad things you ever did too. Despite all of the attempts made on his ancestors’ lives and on his own, and if you read the story you’ll see those. If Jesus’ ancestors knew about it, they’d have been scared to death for their own lives. But it happened, and Jesus was born, and lived until he was ready and until the time was right. He had to wait until Israel was under Rome’s thumb, so the message could be shared with the whole world. If it was just Israel, they would have just done this:

Under just Israel’s law, no Roman or anyone else in the world would ever know what happened except Israel. But under Roman rule, the message would be visible to Rome and to Israel, and to the world. Under just Israel’s authority, the stars themselves would make less sense.

Rabbit trail #2: The sign for Israel is Pisces, the 2 fishes. (See also Mark 6:41?) The sign for Gentiles (the rest of us), is Taurus, the bull. Right between the two, hard to see hanging up there, is Aries, a ram. (See also Genesis 3:21, Genesis 22, very importantly John 1:29, and also, like a button on the end of a great piece of music, Revelation 5, and there are more, I’ll get to one or two if you can stay with me.) The Bible is a tightly woven tapestry.

This preacher on his radio show, though, said that when Jesus came to earth as a baby, it was the first time He had been in human likeness, or “in the flesh.” But the more I read it the more I wonder if God was showing us how He was going to try to save us, all along. This preacher said that when God walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8) he was not in human form. You remember Genesis 3, it’s where Adam and Eve screwed up, disobeyed God and fell, along with all their descendents including me, and took all of creation on a ripping rollercoaster ride, a twisting, screaming journey to hell in a handbasket. Try to deny it all you want, and then turn on the news. For some, the journey seems short, but on a cosmic scale it’s taking longer than 8,000 years, presuming a young earth, but that’s another can of worms and I am NOT touching it. I won’t go back. But this message, this implication, it bugged me, because the guy has no way of knowing that, and no way to back the statement up. This preacher wasn’t in the Garden with God back in Genesis 3. My Genesis 1:26 isn’t at all unclear: “Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness…”

What I’m saying is not that this preacher was necessarily wrong, or intentionally saying something to mislead. What I’m saying is we all have to dig in to the Bible for ourselves to find our own treasures. It’s important that each of us do that. My assertion is that if we ARE in the likeness of God, “in [His] image, then He must be, in highest form, the pre-image of humans.

To the point, here’s one treasure I take from my digging:

What if God was enabling the restoration of the relationship broken by Adam and Eve as the slain lamb in Genesis 3:21?

What if God was restoring the relationship broken by Abraham, as the slain lamb in Genesis 22?

What if God was enabling the restoration of His relationship with Israel through the symbols of Exodus 12?

What if God promised the possibility of restoration in Isaiah 53 (see the Lamb there in verse 7?), written 2716 or so years ago? And finally,

What if God was offering, if we believe, to restore the whole world, as the Lamb of John 1:29, sacrificed at Passover in John 19, and raised in John 20?

You don’t have to ask yourselves these questions, but I raise them for your consideration.

John wrote in maybe A.D. 90 or so, which puts it at 1926 years or less ago, and the events of John would have taken place maybe 800 years AFTER the prophecy of Isaiah 53. If you’ve followed me down the rabbit trails this far, just read the last few verses of John 20 (verses   29-31). 31 is important. How did Isaiah know 800 years early?

Because if God did that, who am I to say whether He pushed my sorry ass into this pit of despair for some restorative reason? I HATE the pit, but if there’s some value in my being here, then eventually it’ll be fine. I’d really rather not. But I get to hang out with some of you, here in the dark, and you’re pretty cool. Maybe we can walk together a while. Or just sit here, it’s better with your company.  I’m not anything like the Lamb. I just talk about Him, just like John did. I complain WAY too much to compare myself to Him. He is, if you don’t already know, “…One you do not know. He is the One who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:26-27) He can restore, or establish, a relationship with us, if I’ve read this right. I wish there were, but there’s no promise of any circumstantial changes. Only eternal changes. All it takes is our faith. I still have to walk through this shit for now, but eternally, I’ll be eternally better off than now. I feel abandoned, not that I’m nearly important enough to matter. But Jesus himself felt the same: “Eloi! Eloi! Lama Sabachthani?” (Psalm 22:1, see also Matthew 27:46; and, how did David know a thousand years early how that scene would play out?) It wasn’t just words to Jesus. It was agony far worse than I may ever know.

What if God pushed me into this pit of despair, or let the universe fucker push me, or let me fall all by myself, to encourage JUST ONE of my readers, to let me meet you, to reassure you of your beauty and incredible worth, to assert that God loves you in ways far more pure and complete and unimaginable than I am capable? To encourage you to have courage, and faith? Although I hate the test, although I hate the universe fucker for the whole journey, if you get it, you’re worth it to me. There are times when I hurt not because it sucks to be me, but because I know what you are going through and I wish I could do something that would effectively reduce your pain or just thoroughly and completely rescue you, but there isn’t anything. I pray for you, and can’t not weep.

Christmas is coming and I haven’t got anything tangibly helpful for you. I have a prayer for me, and may it be answered a thousand billion times, yes. And I have a prayer for you, and may it be answered the same, a loud resounding FUCK, YES!!

Here’s my prayer for me:

OK, I confess, that was a joke. Well, halfway. Because I really do want that for Christmas too. But here’s my real Christmas wish for me:

Here’s my prayer for you, and maybe selfishly I want a little of that for myself too. If it gets answered, the way I want, there will be enough for you to share.

I’m going to go to work when I wake up today, because if I don’t, I’ll think about it and start crying again. This time it’s not just for me. It’s for you too.

It took me a long time, but I think I know why I cried for me on Sunday: It’s because I’m broken. It hurts. And try as I may, I can’t fix it.

And I know why I’m crying for you too: I’m broken that we’re all broken, we live in a world that is killing us, slowly and painfully, and we can’t do anything much about it, except to be there as an encouragement to one another. I hate that you hurt, and I wish life treated us all SO much better.  But while we’re alive, I want us all to share an eternal hope, even if we can’t have peace for now.

Please share that hope with me.

~Deon

First World Problems

Sorry I’ve been away so long. You all probably think I won the lottery or changed to a better job or went on vacation with Mrs M to someplace warm and steamy, with the emphasis on “steamy.” Nope.  Not yet.  I’m still hoping because there’s still a slim chance if I buy a ticket.

I got a little advance warning on the impending crash of the wave of depression, so some of you were perceptive enough to pick up on it.  I think. I may have mentioned it. Because it sucks. Well, crash it has. I like Christmas, I just hate that I have to ride around in this semi-animated corpse pretending everything is great including me. Yeah, you’ve heard the cheer on your radios because it’s after Hallo-fucking-ween: “Voices singing let’s be jolly, fuck the halls with bouts of folly.”

Well, everything IS great, on the spreadsheet. Except finances, and my job, and my car’s check engine light, and my teeth still not fixed, and my wife and kids demanding indentured servitude without the terms of severance or the income.  Wikipedia says “The employer is often permitted to assign the labor of an indenture to a third party.” And it’s true, we have a new dog the kids have named “Scruffy,” and my labor has been assigned, on an as-needed basis, to serve “Scruffy.” And this without relief from the other duties two of my friends tease me about. They say I’m “a good wife.”

On the spreadsheet, I have a job. I have a car. I have a house. I have a family (and a dog). There is food on the table. The house has heat for winter (now) and air conditioning for summer (now).  I also have time-released amphetamines for my depression.  They keep me awake sometimes, they might help me focus a little better than the coffee.  Oh, and I have coffee, which is excellent.  Coffee is one of the best things on the plus side.  These are great on the surface. Scratch it a little (because “Scruffy” likes that).

Under the surface a little, the wisdom of another “Scruffy” shines through:

//giphy.com/embed/eMLXYjKIHaQyk

via GIPHY

That’s right, about the time I’m ready to kick life’s ass and take its’ name, life, or my feelings, or my whatever the fuck the opposite of mania for a cyclothymic comes along with a great big rainbow of

//giphy.com/embed/J5IV6WQZlQS4w

via GIPHY

And it IS a gray rainbow.

I thought I was done with a project and it popped its’ ugly little head up again and said, “Remember me?  Good, now prove you did everything right, all over again.” So after I half-recover from the stress of this week I get to go through all that shit all over again, prove my numbers, search for the one thing the one person wants me to find, and if I find it, figure out why the rest of my numbers worked out right, and if I don’t find it, deliver the bad news to the guy who loses $200 dollars and does not get to pass “Go.” I was very careful and I’m 96% sure I’m right.  It’s just a tiny “fuck you” from a universe full of those.  Duck, or the universe will hand you a few too.

Remind me to never volunteer for shit again.

It’s been a rough few weeks for me, not from the plus column because I’m truly grateful for everything good in life: I have good friends, three in particular who have been extremely supportive. There are people who would murder to have that kind of morale support, and their lives tear them down regularly to a point where even my bitching feels like encouragement to them. And I offer it.

Add to the plus side:  I have a car.  It runs, and it depreciates, so therefore it costs me money.  Depreciate is a big word that’s code for “shit falls apart.”    I have a house, and I like it when it’s cool in summer heat and warm in winter cold so therefore it costs me money.  I have a family that likes to eat, and I’m the biggest culprit for that.  I have a laptop computer that likes to spontaneously highlight what I’ve typed and delete it in ways Ctrl+Z won’t recover, and despite this, I still like to write.  Mrs M and the kids have their electronics, and we like Netflix too.  The stove runs on electric too, so we have a bill to pay or three there.  We also like it when the trash is carried away once a week, and we like our hot and cold running indoor plumbing.  To handle the expense of these things, I have a job.

My minus column might not be bad if it weren’t amplified by depression and loudly broadcast through a few other things. Amplifiers take the existing signal and push it up. Amplifiers are good because they boost what you can’t hear and make it audible. It’s the speakers I dislike. The minus column by itself is fine, I guess. Nothing a little humongous lottery win, or death, wouldn’t eliminate forever. (I’ve got no immediate plans for death, just in case you read closely enough to grow concerned, so the only thing left is that HUGE cash windfall. Bring it. And AMPLIFY THAT shit to 12 out of 10 on the dial.)

Broadcasters:
1-The grind – I fucking hate the grind. I have a job, but there’s no reward beyond a sub-minimal paycheck. There’s no such thing as team. There’s “I,” if you want to promote yourself like hell and there’s “they” if you want to finger point and make other people look bad in order to make yourself look better, see also, “I.” I was temporarily under another supervisor’s thumb for a week. During that week of assigned indentured servitude, I was scheduled to be in early, and I was late once. A half an hour, which I realize was my fault because I didn’t observe the schedule change, and I was in at my regularly scheduled time. And thereafter, I had two days of adjusting to a new, earlier traffic pattern when I was in the office on time but not on the clock until 3 minutes late. And because this alternate supervisor is one of the “they” people, he reported my tardiness, all six minutes over two days, which my company treats to punishment, as if I had missed an entire fucking day. The remaining two days I was early. But I have a job. Would other people murder for my job? I think not. Just so Mrs M can hold her exhaustion over my head (see below) Mrs M has to have a job because my job is shitty and pays shitty.  I’ve been there for several years and recently things have taken a turn for the decidedly worse (see above). There used to be grace, a few minutes, no big deal. But now, even though I always give a little extra in between and after just so my desk stays under control so my name and my conscience are clear too, and then try to help people get theirs done, there is only punishment and fear of more punishment, and stress, and accusation, and “I” and “they” thinking instead of mutual respect and consideration and mercy. In light of worsening weather and us getting a dog, I asked about working from home in addition to asking for a raise. Others make the same (new people) or more, others doing the same work are permitted to be home-based, but my request is denied because I didn’t jump when they originally offered it. I wasn’t ready for such a big change, and who among you with a touch of Asperger’s if they’d relish a huge change in their life.  I didn’t toe their line, when they wanted me to, and how they wanted me to, so now work is dishing out “fuck you’s” and second helpings of “fuck you’s.” I’m supposed to be grateful and ask for thirds and dessert courses of the same.

Anyone hiring, looking for a guy who just wants to come in, do good work, and go home, or better still be home, satisfied at the end of good day’s work? I don’t mind staying late or coming early if the expectations are clear. I don’t mind working hard, and I do a good job, not that anyone I work for would confess to that. I do good work because I value my name and I want my company to be profitable because if they’re profitable it’s supposed to trickle down. But no, if minimum wage is “raised,” I get a tiny “raise,” but ultimately it represents a 50% pay cut because I’ve worked hard to be almost up to the newly proposed minimum above the minimum wage and I’ve almost reached the newly proposed minimum wage because I’ve been faithful. So go ahead and raise that and knock my feet out from under me, why don’t we ask the government? But the idiots who don’t understand basic economics WANT the new minimum wage, not realizing it moves a bunch of struggling almost-middle-class people who’ve worked their asses off to earn anything close to the proposed minimum, JINGLING ALL THE WAY back down to the new poverty level. I don’t mind telling you it’s frustrating as fuck watching the idiots who want to run our country…into the pits.  Why am I despairing?  I don’t know!  (Is my sarcasm showing?)

Does the boss appreciate good work? With her lips she audibly says yes, but with her unrealistic, unmerciful expectations and her daily pittance, like some kind of Ebony  Z’You’rescrewed-ge, she screams a silent, yet somehow much louder, FUCK YOU! (Oh, yeah, just for all the citizens and illegal fucking aliens of the United States of the Too-Easily-Offended, the name is not racist, and fuck you very much if you thought it was.  Not that I should have to explain my intentions as  this is my fucking blog, I’m feminizing and characterizing the name “Ebenezer Scrooge.” You try it and see if you can do any better.) But hey, I’m accustomed to being taken for granted, which brings us to broadcaster:

2-The family—I fucking love/hate the family. If they were any more “supportive,” I might drive into oncoming traffic as fast as my crap car would go. With my luck, and with my car, I’d probably survive, which deters any such thinking pretty fast. And again, that’s not a plan. You worriers! All three or four of you.

My friends say I’m a “good wife,” and they’re right. One night I was so cold I washed dishes just so my hands would feel the hot water for a while. My children do chores only when we are angry and demanding, which sucks for parenting. “I have homework!” is a popular excuse. Among others. I do chores because I’m sick of the excuses bullshit and because Mrs M sighs and says she works so hard and doesn’t have the energy for anything more. And she doesn’t have the energy. She falls asleep hours before I do and gets up maybe 30 minutes before I do. There’s no time or energy left over for Mr. M., which is just great. Wait, is my sarcasm amplifier still on? And if there is time or energy, there’s no enthusiasm. I’m another fucking chore to sigh through and endure. And in spite of this, please cue “All I want for Christmas is You.”  The Mariah one, but pick your favorite if you have one.  I like the album one, to be honest.

Sure, she’s lovely live, have you seen those beautiful red dresses?   Of course you haven’t.  Because there are no pictures of the lovely Mrs M online, and I’m not sharing.  (I don’t mean Miss Mariah, although she’d be a hell of a catch.  That SINGING!!  Sadly, I’ve only really come to wanton, reckless desperation wanting Mrs M for Christmas (and every other day of the year) for years, since I determined she only loves me her way, not my way, and only when she feels like it. There’s certainly no joy in doing anything extra that would make Mr. M. overly happy. If I beg and plead, it’s an even worse chore, “sigh, sigh, sigh, you’re horrible and I hate you,” say all the nonverbal cues, which makes me not want to bother, which seems to fit the agenda.

And yet, she’s beautiful and pretends she means well and loves me some of the time. I just wish it seemed a bit more real all of the time and was a little more freely shared with me without the stupid dynamics that I don’t bring to the bedroom for offering the same treatment, freely, because it makes her pretend to be happy for a little while.

When she feels like pretending I’m reasonably happy and I can almost forget she’s just pretending.  It’s been more than 20 years, and I can’t exactly pinpoint when I realized she was doing that, but it really pissed me off and despite my efforts to recapture her heart, alas, I am only taken for granted and more is expected and demanded.  Fortunately I “make a good wife.”  My fucking friends are right.  But I know she’s the one I want.

This is 100% true, so far, no matter how hard I flirt online with all you fantastically hot bloggers.  You know who you are.  Yes.  You.  Fucking beautiful souls and hearts, trying to tempt me and ten percent away from succeeding…because I hide in my bunker to keep you at fingertip distances away from the true depths of my heart, once plumbed by the lovely Mariah…erm…Mrs M..

3-Because this is a list of amplifiers, I feel obligated to have a third item for my amplifier list.  I’m stressed out.  I’m discouraged.  I’m riding the wave and it’s cresting over my head.  It’s so cold in the office I can practically see my breath.  I wear layers to stay warm enough to keep working because my clients deserve good service despite the way our system and our management don’t help me.  I asked for a raise because of all the talk about raising the minimum wage nationally, also because I found out that I earn the same amount now after my years of experience as they are paying new people.  I wasn’t supposed to say anything.  I wasn’t supposed to ask, so now they are punishing me for saying something.  I’m not supposed to be upset about feeling punished, and I’m not supposed to be upset that my systems don’t work and I’m not supposed to be frustrated that my management is punishing me for little picayune things and for asking for a raise.  And I’m not supposed to be angry and convey any frustration to anyone at the office.  I’m not supposed to believe that I’m being punished.

I’m not supposed to be discouraged in life, in work, in my relationships.  I’m supposed to suck it up and be a good wife and be a good indentured servant to wife and work and family and dog and volunteer organizations.  I’m supposed to think positive.  I’m supposed to continue working and believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Well, like they say in the Metallica song, it’s “just a freight train comin’ [my] way, hey, hey.”

But indeed, I am horrible, and I earn and deserve every discouragement I get.  AND, the scary thing is, other people struggle with worse things than me.  Other people have worse dental situations, worse financial situations, worse work situations, worse relationship situations (some people are fucking physically abused, for fucks sake, by losers who should be shot to death as slowly as possible.), etc.  If I had a shred of manly courage I’d have a better job and earn enough money, and I’d also be able to fix the cars and the things around the house without routinely having a panic and rage attack when it falls apart, and wishing I had the cash to just call the guy who knows how to fix the fucking thing right the first time.

Lately it’s hair and fuck knows what else stuck in the drain pipes, and I don’t know what happened except a miracle: I’ve been able to fix that, after the panic attacks subsided and the desire to rage-quit was replaced by a strong desire to not have to pay someone to do it for me.  My teeth are still an issue.  I already need two implants, or the cheaper alternative is to have them just pulled, maybe a filling or two too.  Maybe in March I’ll get the courage and the cash to have them out, and then decide if I want to, or if I’m able to, save and spend it on myself.  I love doctors (see below) almost as much as dentists.

I can do little things, not big things like afford to put $3.5K in my face, or $700 in a doctor’s pocket for a blood test AFTER fucking insurance, or $1K into my car.  I only want to help people, and be helped in return, so the universe in all of its’ fallen glory shouts a great big FUCK YOU at me and deals the shit cards out.   I’ve taken to just calling the jerk who makes the universe suck, because I lack a more polite but accurate literary term,  an “ass hole.”  To spite the universe fucking ass hole, I decided to treat some dear people as nicely as I’m able.  You know who you are, you know I love you very dearly, and I hope what I did was practical and useful and fitting… for you, however impractical and impulsive it was for me.

Because if the universe is an ass hole to me, it’s an ass hole for others too, and if I can lash out and flip two great big birds at the universe fucker by doing something nice in spite of my situation, then that is what I want to do.  Fuck you, universe fucker.  Until you stop treating people like shit, including me, I’m going to randomly try to do nice encouraging things for people.  And if you slow down on fucking me over long enough for me to break even or get ahead, I’m going to do MORE whenever I can.  What I did was so small, but it was very significant to me

Because I keep asking a question.  I wish I knew where I should look to find a little, perhaps lingering, taste of the answer for myself, but I also ask for Mrs M and for my family, despite everything.  Maybe if I figure them out they’ll learn and eventually have enough to share.  I also ask for people I want to somehow help or encourage, in spite of the universe.  Because if I need it for myself, I know my family needs it too.  And if I frequently feel so empty, my family might feel that way too sometimes.  I know it’s true if I need it, that everyone else needs the answer, too, whether they’ll admit it or not.

When I look in the mirror I realize, even though I don’t really have a clue about how to fix very many things, I know I’m staring at a tiny part of the answer.  I don’t know what to do about work.  I still want to maintain my standards, but I’m past the point of giving half a fuck about this company and the people who have me under their thumbs and enjoy the work I do.  They seem to just be screwing with me right now so I won’t forget my proper place under their authority.  So If you know someone hiring at a decent wage for good work, I’ve done editing and proofreading and writing and research in the past and really enjoyed that.  (If I get paid, it’s not as crappy as this blog often is.)  It would be refreshing to do what I like instead of what my current employer undercompensates me for.

“Undercompensates” is a big word that means “acts in cooperation with the universe fucker to make life more difficult than it should be or needs to be.”  I think the universe fucker abuses the laws of physics and gravity and invented the contrary “laws” of relationships, to break precious things and break even more precious hearts, and cause unnecessary grief to anyone whether they can handle more shit in life or not.  Depressed?  Moi?   Fuck that, I’m busy pretending like fuck to be positive in spite of the shit dealers.  Because, for one, the boss wants me to smile while she’s fucking me over with barbed wire implements, and if I don’t like it, she wants me to pretend I do, and tell her “thank you” for the attention.  And not tell anyone about how I feel, or how it, and the tools the company gives me to try to do my job, that fail to help me fully succeed induce panic and rage.  At least I haven’t heard anything lately at church that pissed me off.  But give it time.  Christmas is when the gospel is love from God through scandal-an illegitimate child’s birth- and angels singing “comfort and joy” and “peace on earth.”  After Christmas, I’ll expect it.  If I get blindsided I might let you know.  As for Mrs M, Christmas and New Years give me a better shot at being loved how I want to be loved.  And I’ll keep trying to do the same for her.

If you don’t hear from me until then, despite how you may sometimes feel about messages either from the Bible or from some pastor (not necessarily the same original source), Merry Christmas, dear readers.  Life may not all be “tidings of comfort and joy,” but we can try to encourage each other anyway.  Like you encourage me.  And if you have a chance, be a tiny part of the answer to someone, even if it’s not very much or appreciated right now.  “This calls for patient endurance.”  But if I can do it in my tiny, insignificant way, you can do it too.  Try.  It feels really  good to flip off the universe fucker.

Earthquake, Erosion, Erasure

Earthquake, Erosion, Erasure
11/19/2016, Deon Mumple

 

I hate the world I didn’t create,
Destructive wind and rain and fate
Where time and death chip the veneer,
Sometimes stealing what I hold dear
The teacup falls, just slips away
Things fall apart, more to replace
There’s no purpose.  Nothing to learn
Teacups and treasures will all burn
So though I wish I could hold on,
One day it’s here, the next, it’s gone

I hate the world the world creates,
Religio-political debates,
We fall apart, can’t be replaced,
Treated cheaply, then just erased
Economics boils down to hate
Selfishness sets the interest rate
Relationships corrode and rust
Friendship, an endangered genus
Everyone lies, no one to trust
While lives, like teacups, chip to dust

I hate the world that I create,
I try to hope, but loathe the wait
The waste of time, supplanted goals
Broken, empty teacups, life’s tolls
I want to love, but need it more
Accounts deplete, though I adore
Sometimes I think my life is lies,
See?  Every year the garden dies.
The effort, worthless, Is it true?
Though worth nothing, I still love you.

Resisting The Impulse

My life lately seems to just be the poster child for resisting the impulse to act rashly.  I want to act on my rage, I want to act on my panic,  I want to act on my passion, I want to act on temptations, I want to act on my discipline and my desire to make progress in life, I want to act on compassion, I want to act on indifference.

I appear to be controlling the desire to act on what may be negative impulses.  I appear to be resisting the impulse to act out.  But what may actually be happening is this:  My impulses are keeping me from doing anything.  I’m stuck and buzzing with the feeling I should do something, but I have a counter-impulse that keeps the first impulse under control.

So when I have the impulse to tell the boss and the company they can go fuck themselves because of the way they’re treating me, I have the counter impulse that says I need a job, and job is better than no job.  So when I have the impulse to find some stress relief somewhere to just relax, I have tasks that force me to not be able to relax.  So when I feel the urge to sleep, I have the brain that says, maybe later.  Or not.

It’s an election year.  It would be nice to know who to vote for because they’re good, but instead, they’re all shit and you have to pick the ones you think is going to do the least damage.  Which is why when I’m voting for one party’s presidential idiot…candidate,  I vote for the other party’s congressional candidates, to keep them from furthering their harmful agendas.  Lately, and by that I mean for the past twenty or thirty years, that hasn’t been working so good.  Yeah, I’ve probably been voting for twenty or thirty years.

It’s possible that my life is demonstrating this text.  (or not).  Yeah, click it, you’ll probably either laugh or ask yourself “what the fuck did I just read?!”  It’s not a good  “in my own words,” but if I were writing that, I might say this:  I want to do good and positive things, but everything I try to do only turns out to be more shit.

It’s possible I have every impulse known to mankind, and they’re all in perfect balance, preventing me from actually doing anything.  A bit like genius Matt Groening’s delightful Mr. Burns and his diseases:

Like my poem from the other day, I need to put one foot in front of the other one. Except every time I feel like i might be making progress,some shit happens to take that progress away. So it isn’t a good thing to me. Or maybe it’s fine.

It would really feel good to tell the boss exactly how I feel, but instead yesterday I worked my ass off again because I don’t want to give her or the company any ammunition they could use against me.  Fuckers.  I’m going back to do the same again.  Because I want to stay home and do fuck all.  But instead, I’ll get home after work and do the thing scheduled for tonight instead of reading all your blogs and catching up and trying to make encouraging comments and deleting my excess emails.  Because my progress continues to take a back seat to everything that has to be done.  I don’t have the resources to do what I want, so I have to do what I have to do and not do what I want to do.

Confused yet?  Well so am I.  So I’m going to work.  Sorry everyone!  I hope, despite my stuck situation, that you all make good progress today.  I’ll try to put a dent in something other than my car or my head.  Oh, I hit my head yesterday, too.  Maybe I just hit it too hard, but I feel fine.  Really.

Have a great day!

~Deon

Does This Meme Make My Soul Look Fat?

Yeah I just added to it and changed the title and stuff, maybe “Faith and Doubt” suck as teaser titles.  So here’s the same article, tweaked… I’m NOT sorry for teasing you.

So we learned in school, or at home, that oil and water don’t mix.  Oil and vinegar can be shaken together into a lovely dressing, with Italian spices or whatever, but it separates.  I like a balsamic vinaigrette myself.  Damn.  Now I want a salad, with maybe rolled prosciutto and salami slices, some avocado, and those fine sprouts…alfalfa?  And all the vegetables.  And maybe raisins or, even better, blueberries or something.  And a little shredded parmesan, and fresh cracked pepper.  You can have my olives, though, I don’t like those.

Somebody bring me a salad and a glass of dry white wine… make it a Pinot Grigio.  Please?  And an over easy egg on a bacon cheeseburger on a gently toasted bun with everything on it and some onion rings with a horseradish and cayenne pepper mayonnaise.  I know, those two mix with a healthy diet like fire and ice.  Or like my spiritual life thrives on faith and doubt. (Beautiful salad image is from Allrecipes.com, they are awesome.)

Faith and doubt, to me, mix together, not quite as well as oil and water.  Except instead of that great italian seasoning blend that makes the salad dressing taste great, it feels a bit like gritty sandy bitter granules in between the two.  And it’s not even lubricated like both oil and water, it’s just dry and harsh like sandpaper on my soul.

Faith springs from the soul, a gift from God, the knowledge and understanding that you can trust Him.  Faith is encouraged when one’s prayers are obviously heard and answered.  Affirmingly.  Like when you’re dating, or married, your significant other says something and then works to insure whatever they say is so.  “I promise to ______”  And then they do “______,” you know?

Doubt springs from the same soul, the human condition, the creeping fear that you have been abandoned and forgotten by Him.  Doubt is encouraged when one’s prayers are obviously being ignored, or answered negatively.  And it feels like betrayal.  I trusted in Him to take care of me and He let me down, repeatedly.  I trusted in Him to guide me like a Good Shepherd, and He didn’t guide me down a pathway to good pastures, He let me struggle and fail and fall and eat bitterness and dust.

Doubt erodes faith, over time, like sandstorms eat rock.

My Christ-following “friends” tell me to “wait on the Lord,” or “put God first” or “maybe there’s something wrong with your heart” and then leave me thinking there’s something wrong with me.  But I already freely admit the human condition.  There IS something wrong with me:  I’m a sinner, you pious, holier-than-thou jerks.  Where did you come from?  The Book of Job?  Job’s friends kind of sucked.  At least they stayed with him through the suffering I guess.  So, “friends,” why don’t you tell me how I might achieve spiritual perfection, and write that in a book where you can make a few million and help me pay my bills.  Faith only pays the bills when other people hear God prompt them to help, and actually help.  I’ve met exactly ONE of those kinds of Christ followers, and he stepped in with exactly what I needed, and then disappeared like an angel of the Lord.  It happened once.  I never had spoken to him before, I had only prayed and asked God for what I needed.

Lately I’ve only got the kind of “friends” who say the spiritual-ese bullshit that sounds great but is less fulfilling.  Which is why I don’t really retain close “fellowship” with that kind of Christ-follower.  I know the advice is valid, comes out of “truth” but it doesn’t fit.  Plus, shut the hell up, you’re only discouraging me.  You’re only adding to the grit of the experience.

I’m waiting for a few prayer requests to get thoroughly answered, for Satan to get his ass viciously kicked straight back to hell along with a host or two of his Double Bacon Cheeseburger with TWO Grilled Cheese sandwiches used as buns.: demonic followers, and for God to prove to me again that He gives a shit about little Deon.  So according to the pat answer, that’s supposed to make me stronger.  The waiting, I mean.  Except, I don’t feel stronger yet.  But if the mountain in my life moves, then my faith will be reassured.  I’m just a little under pressure with the mountains of doubt and reality crushing my soul’s ass.  Does a soul have an ass?  Wonder if it’s fat and God is just having me diet or something.  I don’t like dieting in physical life and I like it even less if that’s the spiritual life “lesson.”

If the spiritual menu only has spiritual brussels sprouts or overcooked gross spiritual spinach, I’m starving and that shit is nasty. I think I’d like a spiritual salad with some vinaigrette, that fruity dry white wine and the cheeseburger.  I’ll share.  I promise.

(Beautiful cheeseburger is from Pinterest)
Does this meme make my soul look fat?

Motivational Speech

On the day before yesterday,
I felt like total crap.
Stumbled and failed on my way,
Wished I could take a nap

So yesterday I decided
It was  all in my head.
Positive thinking without dread
Would steer how time was led.

I read that prayer and believing
Would insure my success!
I just knew I’d start receiving
Relief from any stress.

Then yesterday wasn’t better:
I tried to be happy,
I tried to be a go-getter,
And failed miserably.

Today, success books and  web links
Went straight into the trash.
Got my Bible and a stiff drink,
Read Psalms and sipped sour mash.

The psalmist confirmed suspicions:
God’s on His own schedule,
Answers yes to some petitions,
And not all as a rule.

I read God will sometimes surprise
I just hate to say it.
All you motivation wise guys:
Your “wisdom’s” pure bullshit.

Dead Four Daze

Dead Four Daze, 4/21/2016, Deon Mumple

I used to be able to handle the shock
When life dealt a hammer blow
I might cry about all the hard knocks
I could pray, wait, trust, and just know

But now death hits harder, this life is stupid,
I want something else instead,
I can’t fight any more, I can’t just stay hid,
And God hasn’t left me dead

I used to be able to answer with faith,
And pray, confident, when things went wrong.
But I feel undead like a zombie, or wraith
And I’ve felt like this way too long

I used to see miracles answer my prayers,
I used to celebrate: God scored!
Now just questions and silence come answer the scares,
And my prayers have been ignored.

I’m like Mary and Martha and anyone there
After Lazarus was dead four long days:
We asked You to show up! Do you even care?
My faith died, my soul’s in a daze.

The more I wait, feeling the death of my soul,
I wonder if He’ll save me.
Which god is the real God?  What’s the end-goal
Of killing someone who believes?

I sit in the darkness with everyone else here,
And I’m told I should light up the night
So prove true now, I ask, I’ll proclaim all my years,
Let darkness be eclipsed by Your Light!

I Don’t Want To

I Don’t Want To

I don’t want to, not today!  But you force me
Into your world and call it reality
I don’t want to have to pretend to be
Your normal, OK?
When every day
Isn’t OK.

Those positive thinkers think positively
And they make me want to just groan
It doesn’t change a thing, at least not for me,
Denial never was my zone.

I don’t want to care today! Leave me alone!
Not that I want to strike an unfriendly tone,
I don’t even want to complain or moan,
Just don’t make me
Keep faking
Everything.

I can visualize heaven and world peace,
If believing would bring seeing.
Also love and joy and an end to disease
When are those coming into being?

Call me selfish, I don’t want to care today,
I’m tired of pretending; I want things my way,
And if I can’t have what I want, I want to stay
In a safe place;
In a quiet space,
Like outer space.

Are you getting the wished feelings I’m sending?
I’m visualizing, praying, pretending
That this poem, right along with this feeling
Is ending.

Is That All It Takes?

Yesterday I snarkily remarked that the “ask and you shall receive” axiom for Christ followers isn’t always answered.  But for the record, about two weeks ago one of my long-standing requests was finally granted.  And last night one of my more temporary, some might say foolish, requests was granted, without protest.  So today, genuinely, thank you, Jesus.  Even when my heart doubts and gives up hope, truth is truth.

Timing is the issue.  After asking and asking, it’s a little tiresome to keep asking.  My timing is definitely not His timing.  I hate to wait, and I don’t learn the lesson if there is a lesson.  I don’t want patience.  When it comes to something I want, if it’s reasonable request and the answer isn’t yes, I’m a 4 year old having a temper tantrum in the toy store.  I still have a request hanging out there somewhere.  It’s years old, but it’s not a “need” so I can deal with that.  I’ve needed a tool for a few years, to help me make better progress writing, and I got that two weeks ago.

Things have changed, over the last month or so.  I had worked hard over the last two weeks on some physically demanding projects, and finally finished a big job last night.  I was exhausted.  I was satisfied with the work, feeling I had done well despite my attitude during the project, and my mood in the recent weeks.  When I got home, I altered my blood chemistry, if you know what I mean (here read:  alcohol), and then was delighted when she further altered my blood chemistry, if you know what I mean (I’ll let you ruminate on the possibilities).  And so it was that last night I finally slept through the night, and was conscious at 6:00 A M and then again at 7:25, when I absolutely had to leave for the office.

So, what made the change?  Was it finally being unburdened of these projects, with the feeling I had finished well?  Was it exhaustion that finally forced me to let go of something spiritual or emotional I was holding on to?  Was it just that in God’s timing, it was time for some “yes” answers instead of the “wait” that I hate so well?  Was it the alterations of blood chemistry, is that really all it takes?  Alcohol and favorable treatment?  Or is it an early shift of cyclothymia that has me feeling like I’m finally on an up-swing?  Or is it really time and I wasn’t paying attention?  Or a combination of things?  Or is this a quick episode, and will I crash again shortly?

From last year’s trend line I shouldn’t be out and up again until late August or early September if I remember it correctly, but I didn’t write it down last year so that’s my fault.  I just remember being severely depressed in the mid-to-late summer and it didn’t break for a long, long, long time.  And remember how much I love waiting for answers to prayer.  If this is something spiritual then still, in my humble, fallible, human opinion, waiting sucks and I don’t think I learned shit about shit from the experience.  If anything I learned being depressed sucks dirt and I don’t always have a rational explanation for how I feel, but sometimes I do and it’s because life is sometimes depressing.  And sometimes, Deon, maybe you just feel depressed for no reason whatsoever.

I should keep monitoring my mood, but dramatically I feel kind of normal today, like things are as they should be.  Also, compared to the normal crap clothes I usually wear, I’m spectacularly dressed today, since I have a date tonight immediately after work.  She eats early, she sleeps early, she wakes surly early.  I’m a night owl and as far as I can safely be, a bit of a party animal I guess.  C’mon hon.  We’re not senior citizens yet.

It would be really stupid to learn that the lesson I didn’t want to learn was simple:  Life happens, bad things and bad moods happen to everyone, it comes in waves so there are ups and downs, and we just all deal with them differently, and eventually, prayer changes things.  Or the rainstorm passes.  Or through hard work one can rebuild and recover after a tornado or tidal wave, but get ready because another one’s coming.  Or yes, Deon, you were right:  sometimes life is depressing, and it makes people depressed when life is depressing.

It would be really stupid if it were that elementary.  There should be something deeper and more profound in going through this.  Please tell me there’s a bigger purpose, God.  And if You please, could I not have to wait for eternity for You to reveal it?  Since You made me, You know how I feel about waiting.  And yes, I know it’s not a “need;” it’s a “want.”