RE-BIRTH

This poem is my attempt in interpreting the of story Bryon Widner. This one really took awhile to write. The story echoes a narrative of what I’d call “second chance.” As much as I’m interpreting what I read, there are parts where this poem is auto-biographical as well. It is my hope that you resonate with the tone and emotions depicted in the poem. 

SECOND CHANCES…

…are hard to come by.

 

The PAST is at times like bloodstains on white colored fabric.

 

This STAIN
one that would never go away
it stays
there…
Remaining on the surface.

A disfigurement of a former glory
even after washing
though
fading
still remains.

 

BUT

 

Like seasons where a caterpillar weaves up into a cocoon,
an anticipation occurs,
ugly takes a makeover,
in the form of a whole transformation.

 

BUTTERFLIES

 

Call it evolution
Call it rejuvenation
Call it a reincarnation
call it metamorphism
call it redemption
call it
to be HUMAN.

Widening the chasms of the past,

…who i was,
a fire breathing dragon.

to who I am,
now
inhaling back the flames…

…is not always easy…

…Even if it is as far as the East is to the West.

Erasure? is it even possible?
of one’s disclosure,
of an already written story,
the past forever.
To one being written,
the future
an unraveling.

 

 

...CHANGE...
Is it just, skin-DEEP?
 Or 
A Heart, REBIRTH?

Though murky echoes,

of past lingers by,

reminding…

The horizon speaks,

of another story,

pertaining…

Hope

amid the stains below my feet,

Faith,

amid the fumes of my confession,

in the anguish of breathing penance,

in the narrative of second-chances,

my restoration,

made complete by,

LOVE.

i care but i don’t care

God

“But Jobs’ discussion about God with Isaacson later in his life leaves us wondering: Did Steve Jobs accept Christ before he died?” (Read the rest of the article here.)

The article was going out well until the part I quoted above. It’s just like saying, “I care about you, really. But only until I know for sure you “accepted Christ.” I don’t think we really do care at all, and that’s how (not) to speak of God.

 

 

Confining what was meant to go Viral

The title you read above is a short article I wrote that my good friend Kurt Willems posted on his blog. Below is a little snippet of the it:

“Last month I went to the movies and watched “Contagion.” in short it was a movie depicting a wide spreading virus, which was unknown, and untreatable. Well that’s until they found a vaccine to somewhat contain the virus from spreading virally. I am not intending to give my review of the movie, on whether it was great and you should watch it, but there is something that got me thinking about the words “confinement,” “viral,” and in some sense how it relates to Christianity.” Read the rest of the article by clicking the link here

dreams were meant to share

“in the event of my death”
he said
“please bury with me my dream.”
“why…” was the response
given to his request
“…would you do such a thing?”
the question beckons him,
“it would be good if you would shared it,
cause then your dreams,
it would live on,
now wouldn’t that be bliss,
to have,
your rememberance
it will forever be taken in?”
He repilied, with a cynical smile,
“Share?
I don’t think that’s my thing,
I’d rather be buried with it in tact, cause only i would know,
for dear God, the value of my dreams!”

then years passed by,
and reaper came,
to take those whose time
was up,
the man who wished,
to be buried
with his dream,
I imagined,
his lifeless body clutching,
if he could,
his dreams from,
leaving him.

But alas,
if you want to know,
the ending of this poem,
read up now by clicking this link,
and you will know,
the moral of this story,
why,
dreams were meant to be shared.

If you hold too tightly to your dreams and not wish for others to cherish it by giving it away…chances are, someone else, a stranger will pry it from your resting place. True Story :)

to live with a gun to their heads

Inside the Amazon rainforest, Amazonas State, ...

Image by JorgeBRAZIL via Flickr

i ask,
what is it that keeps them going?
when they walk their lives,
having guns to their heads,
each day when they wake up in the morning,
and do their menial routines,
meet friends on the streets,
send their kids off to school,
just like all mortals do,
show love to their wives or husbands,
tend to those who are needy,
to live a life that dream dreams,
make enough to feed their families,
I wonder how they sleep at night,
to have the knowledge that,
at any given moment,
when they least expect it,
the trigger could go off,
at any given moment,
gone just like that,
in just a split second?
and yet no one would care,
because for these folks,
spoke about things of importance,
but not for those in the government,
who care more for paper,
stuff to fill empty pockets,
but whose pockets were empty?
except for those poor and needy.

i ask,
is it worth it?
to lose your life fighting a system,
that seems to keep winning?
make sacrifices to keep forests intact,
only to have people,
running tabs,
paying bounty hunters,
to slaughter your voice becoming,
something of a thorn,
in the side,
of those who live as though they don’t seem to care,
but for them to act in a particular way,
in hating the very utterance of your tone,
guilt must be a constant nagging,
and to silence their conscience from constant reverberating
pay to end it from its continual ringing.

i ask,
is it worth it?
and your voice keeps telling me,
“I’ll keep fighting. It won’t do it to give up.”
but then until when?
“Until awareness is awakened,
and people see,
their worth,
and what they were meant to till for just needs,
become the very conviction,
to kill of this greed,
before it in turn,
pulls the trigger,
to the future,
the lifeblood of all our seeds.”

Note: This poem is inspired by the story of  two environmental activist who were gunned down for their efforts in speaking against deforestation done to Amazon rain forest. I am marveled by their perseverance even in the face of knowing that death awaits them on every corner. Other activists also live in the same condition as if breathing their lives in the constant threat of having a gun to their heads.

monster living

Cloverfield monster

Image via Wikipedia

in all of us,
though we may be full of grace and loving,
there,
hiding and lurking,
is still a monster living.

Note: Though we might think that we’re not as bad as the other person, and we pride ourselves in our potentials and capabilities, we have to acknowledge that we do have a tendency of monstorocity. The short poem above was inspired reading this piece by Peter Rollins.

 

 

When a Little Madness Would Do The World Much Good After All

Thank God for Mental Illness

Image via Wikipedia

“This is Madness!!!”

We hear much of what madness meant when watching 300. Leonidas was a little on the mad side when he lead just 300 men to fight the Persian army. He saw what was coming when surrounding nations went for what was called submission for peace. You know the movie too well for me to give a good synopsis but there’s something about this type of madness that we need from leaders.

A little madness would do the world much good after all.

But, somehow we’re obsessed with getting leaders who have the look of success and stability. We don’t want those who are depressed and who do not project the aura of what we picture as leadership material.

I read a recent article yesterday which comes with the title “Madman in Chief,” by Tony Dukoupil. The article follows a study done by Nassir Ghaemi who is “director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center.” He’s done case studies on the connection between the connection of mental disorders and leadership. The book he wrote which is titled “A First-Rate Madness” is the product of his studies.

The argument Ghaemi puts forth following Dukopil’s understanding is that “what sets apart the world’s great leaders isn’t some splendidly healthy mind but an exceptionally broken one, coupled with the good luck to lead when extremity is needed.”

But Ghaemi does not say that all madness is good. Dukopil is quick to comment here that, “(t)he good doctor isn’t saying that all mental illness is a blessing. Only that the common diseases of the mind—mania, depression, and related quirks—shouldn’t disqualify one from the upper echelons of public life, and for a simple reason: they are remarkably consistent predictors of brilliant success.”

And he also explains that Ghaemi is not the only one who has made connections between madness and leadership, others have also gone that was as well, but notes where Ghaemi went further in his studies by finding trails of mental disorders in political leaders such as “business leaders (CNN founder Ted Turner), social activists (Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi), and military commanders (Union Army Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman), as well as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and John F. Kennedy.”

The article ends with this following conclusion which I found very interesting,

So should we bring on the crazy in 2012? At the very least, we should rethink our definitions and stop assuming that normality is always good, and abnormality always bad. If Ghaemi is right, that is far too simplistic and stigmatizing, akin to excluding people by race or religion—only possibly worse because excellence can clearly spring from the unwell, and mediocrity from the healthy. The challenge is getting voters to think this way, too. It won’t do to have candidates shaking Prozac bottles from the podium, unless the public is ready to reward them for it. Amid multiple wars and lingering recession, maybe that time is now.

So, what I’m getting from this article is that we should not be too quick to write off certain people based on their health records, if we have them, and just concentrate on those who know how to have the normative and popular “leadership look.” It simply tells us that we can’t just write anyone off because of ailments. There might just be something that these people have in store to offer the world.

So, again, echoing the statement I made, a little madness would do the world much good after all, if you come to think about it.

This thus give us a good critique of what we view as marks and traits of greatness because we so often have our views trapped in a reductionistic position. What can this understanding tell of our view of leaders in Malaysia? What about the church? Or in general, what of how we view leaders? It gives us some potent restructuring in how we think about what is valued as good might not be of good benefit on a larger scale. It also might tell us that a little madness is good after all.