Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mistaken Identity

"I'm terribly sorry, Miss," he said, "I've mistaken you for someone else."

Friday, January 26, 2007


I go out onto the porch for a smoke before bed. I'm wearing my pajama bottoms and a pea coat. It is cold and foggy out--silent. Across the street on the adjacent porch a kid with dreadlocks is talking on the phone. I listen to his conversation though I'm pretending not to. He is almost gleeful, talking about nostalgia and hope. His tone is somewhere between a laugh and a song. He is talking about love and peace. I smile, not pretending not to listen anymore. He mentions the fog to the person in the phone. My smile widens. It's a nice night out. I am gonna go to bed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Coming Back to Life

What a beautiful morning! Thought I'd share some pictures I took of the fog over Lake Whatcom and this David Gilmore song.

Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching
Where were you when I was hurt and I was helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And headed straight . . . into the shining sun

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dr. Matt

There is this term I have heard thrown around: serial monogamy. I guess the term applies to all those people getting in short long-term relationships, playing like a postmodern blend of Ward and June Cleaver and Dillon and Brenda from 90210, and then breaking it off when the real work of a relationship begins, moving on to the next partner and the next and the next. This goes on and on perhaps ending happily when one finally grows up, or, like all those grey bearded men you see walking their dogs down by the docks by themselves, in failure.

I can't tell you how many of the people I know will introduce their new boyfriend or girlfriend to me at a pub table and then moments later make these "cute" little jokes about their sex life. "But wait a minute, weren't you just with ______?" And so no one ever gets attached, no one ever really commits or works or plans, it is just this free flowing "post-modern" nightmare.

A guy I work with, a self proclaimed pagan high priest--a very cool guy--told me that he wants his women to be with other men, to experience and draw energy from others because then he gets to experience in a way, all this love and energy from all of her partners. Ah, no thank you. It is one thing to say something profound like that but completely different when implemented in the real world. See I think people are leaving bits of themselves scattered all over the place until gradually they thin out into shadow. I'm aching to live in a more traditional time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


This just in, six from Battlestar Galactica is in this month's playboy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flattened Pennies

There has been some contention about these tracks, about where exactly they lead. I have walked them a good length. There were a number of human and natural dramas to be seen. A family of nudist picnicking. Hobos cooking dinners in tins over a fire. Seagulls cracking shells on the steel.

But the really interesting section of track is where it meets the edge of the world and curls out, into the heavens. You know you're approaching the end of the line when the rose colored fog carrying a smell of lavender and sea salt rolls in off the ocean. The tracks wind into a wood with moss for carpet, vacuumed twice a day by Sonia, a glowing Mexican housekeeper. There are bearded fairies there who roll the rails out like bread and get off work at dinner time. I've seen them walking home, covered in dough, eastward into the foothills, each one carrying a flower home to his wife. Squirrels carry umbrellas through the paths in the branches hanging over the tracks. They love to talk about the weather but not the actual weather, that moving living art piece in the sky that pervades our every experience, but the weather reports. And then there are the Mermaids who giggle, flopping away from the tracks, back to the water to watch and wait for the trains to come and flatten their pennies.


There is so much on my heart, I feel that years and years of heartache and joy can flow out of me, bleed out uncontrollably until I am left dry and cold. But part of me dares not go there, chooses instead to smile, to not take things so seriously; there is a sense of humor built into the cosmos.

I went to church this morning, something I have not done in a very long time. I went to church by myself this morning, something I have never done. I hit the snooze button on my alarm for an hour and almost talked myself into not going at all. "Just get up and get a shower to start," I told myself. And so I got out of the shower and almost put on my robe. "Get dressed, and see what happens from there." And so I was dressed and the next step was getting in my car. I almost convinced myself to just take a Sunday morning drive. "Just drive in the direction of church, you don't have to get out of the car." And so I found myself circling the church--a beard half grown on my face, circles under my eyes, smoking cigarettes. I saw people filtering into the church, all very wholesome looking, families with great cheerful smiles greeting the ushers on the front steps. And so I drove around the block some more, feeling almost to defiled to enter the house of the Lord. But I just had to commune with God, had to be with others communing with God. And I forced myself to park and then to walk to the front door, and then finally to sit down. Here I am. I don't know why I am here but here I am.

This woman spoke during the service, said 2006 had been a nightmare, that she had been reading from the book of Job but had recently started reading from the Song of Songs. She read chapter 2 verse 10:

10 My lover spoke and said to me,
"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me."

Oh man, I have to say, I almost cried. That Jesus would think of me as his darling, that he wants me to come with him, ragged and bearded as I am...!

And then last night I read this man, Ravi Zacharias who I wanted to share with you. He can say more eloquently than I, the hope I have for the world. He also wrote this great essay about the dying art of thinking.

The season of singing has come! Everyday truly is an adventure, even if it means just taking one step at a time, out of bed to who knows where. Peace.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Here are some pictures of my day. It started out early, at sunrise, with a cup of hot coffee.

I then made a twenty egg omlette and traded eggs for bacon with the neighbors upstairs. We basked in the sun and ate a huge breakfast. This is my kitchen after cooking. What a mess!

Here is the omlette cooking in the frying pan. I have this habbit of cooking enough food for an army. I guess that is because one of my favorite things to do is share meals with other people.

I then went for a walk up Sehome hill. It was such a beautiful, quite day. A much needed break from the rain. I read from Psalms at the top of the hill. This picture here is of a cross roads. It made me think of Frodo and Sam from The Lord of the Rings.
After all of that walking I cleaned up that messy kitchen and had more coffee on the porch. I went for a walk this evening and watched the sun set at the park. All in all a great sunshining day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I'm running through the jungle, my long beard unfurling behind me. I'm red and naked and I am running. In the jungle. A tribe of natives dance around a fire and burn incense. They have painted naked bodies covered in ash. I pass them at a tremendous speed. Also, there are bongo drums there. There are bongo drums in my head. Throbbing. I am running through the jungle, not away from something but towards something. A great big hippy love revolution--minus the hippies. Freedom. Paradise restored. I am running to the garden of Eden. My heart throbs. Everything throbs. Hey--ha. Hey-ha. Drums. Smoke. Light up ahead. Hey--ha. I am running through a jungle red and naked towards something big.

"Oh man. What happened to my music (Shpongle)? Battery dead?" I look at my iPod. "Yep batteries dead." I slow down my pace.

I am jogging on a treadmill. My whiskers itch. I'm in sweatpants at the YMCA, jogging, like a hamster in his wheel. In a cage. A group of people resolute on losing weight for the new year are walking like hamsters all around me. I hear a dull hum of machinery in motion. I look out the window in front of me and see the evening commute four stories below. I'm jogging on a conveyer belt and my iPod is out of juice.

"F#@! the music." I push the up arrow on the treadmill and build speed. 7 point eight. Point nine. Eight point one. Two. Three. I am running. I am running towards something big. Eight point four. Point five. I am running through a jungle. There are bongos. I am running through a jungle and there is a light up ahead. Hey--ha! Towards something big.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


After months, or maybe it's been years now, of floating through the cold depths of interstellar space alone, Dobbs has by some inexplicable miracle been drawn, that is how it feels to him, to this planet. For some time he had heard the faint song of a siren beckoning to him, to his ship, haunting the silence of his cabin. The voice, at first thought only imagined, had become more and more distinct until it was quite unmistakable that it was actually real, emanating from a tiny speck gradually growing to an all encompassing force beneath his ship. Gravity, to feel it again...he could understand how man had once deified the natural forces.

And if I were to paint a picture of Dobbs and his encounter with the siren I'd compose it so that a weary man stands in the foreground, cold--half mad. His right hand rests on a console made of silver steel, and buttons, like the tips of crayons, blink--talking to a man distracted. With his left hand Dobbs is pushing the frozen metal door outward to the world beyond. And what lays out there, painted in sharp contrast to the cool blues, grays and shadows in the foreground, is a field of green, red, and yellow brush strokes sighing in the breeze. A wooded meadow. In summer. With sky. And grass. And smells that bring tears to the eyes I'd paint for Dobbs. And in the white speckled glen, a woman dancing in slow motion in an airy white dress beckons the vagrant Dobbs. Come.

Inspiration and community

Some one just made my night and I feel so good right now. My audience has dwendle here on blogger and I hope to remedy that by posting more. It is my new goal to post at least one meaningful thing a day. I have many new goals of late. But over on blog ladder there is a real sense of community as we read and write and share our thoughts. Well I posted the White Fields post from yesterday over on blog ladder and got this wonderfully unexpected reply from my blogging friend, Grego. He played along with me perfectly. He writes:

But as he falls far behind the chariot, his breath becomes more labored as it frosts from the frigid cold. He is pumping his arms and legs harder and harder, but the snow relentlessly deepens and slows him down, pulls him down. As his face sinks into the rising snow, the light begins. Slowly, in the far corner of his eye, the pinpoint of light expands and he is riveted by the sight. Is this what heaven is? Then, the smell approaches; the wonderful smell of the scent that reminds him of pleasures past, the hint of a smile forms on his blue lips, his chattering teeth begin to slow as his smiling face begins to glow. This must be heaven! The cold recedes as warmth suffuses his body, the snow turns into brilliant crystals of light until his senses are filled with the moment. He suddenly realizes that she is there! She is next to him now, holding him in a tight embrace. The candle she lit in the dark room shines brightly upon them.

She is his heaven!

and I respond:

Yes! bnonman, that is beautiful! and I'm smiling ear to ear because of your wonderful words. thank you so very much for that!

and he says:

Couldn't have done it without your great starting point - you inspired me and gave me the story, the mind picture, the images I needed. I have never before written anything even approaching that type of prose.

How great to inspire! and what a fun game! Thanks Grego.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

White Fields

He’s startled from sleep. The sound of galloping horses recede away from him and when he looks to the sound he sees a fading after image of red and shadow, a dark rider upon a chariot retreating over white fields. He rolls over to see his beloved sleeping heavily. He tries to stir her but she will not wake. A spell has been put on her. He is quite calm. As calm as the falling snow which is falling all around them, on her hair, in the bed, on his eye lashes. The air is quiet, muffled. The snow falls faster and more furiously, piling deeper, muting the landscape around him, covering his beloved under a great chill blanket. He must hurry. He must follow the chariot and rider-- defeat the shadow before all is white and cold.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Great Message

Went to church this morning and just got blessed. The pastor read from the fourth chapter of Philippians. This passage particularly seemed pertinate to my life right now.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I love you. And I too look forward to spring.

Thank you for not smoking

I was sitting outside in the plaza having a cup of coffee and cigarette. All the tables and chairs around me were empty. It was snowing and a few people carrying shopping bags walked quickly towards tbe mall door, to the heat. So I was alone in the open air enjoying a guilty pleasure, watching the people walk by. Two security guards approached me cautiously, as if I were a criminal.

"Sir," the short one said, "your gonna have to put that cigarette out or go smoke it out in the parking lot."

I raised the cigarette to my mouth and inhaled deeply, my face I can only imagine was cast in shadow and glowed for a moment in the red light of my glowing tobbacco cherry. I looked up into the eyes of the mall security officers and exhaled a cloud of warm smoke. At that moment, a pack of ninjas decended on ropes, from the rafters of the open air canopy, each one into an empty chair. They all pulled from thier belts cigarettes and lit them with matches.

The security officers made a move for the tazer on thier belts but stopped short when the leader of then ninjas spoke up.

"Sir," he said. "You treat this man as if he were a criminal or the scum of the earth for enjoying a cigarette out of doors. Perhaps you believe he is unhealthy, which he is, but so are the people on the other side of this door who are wolfing down big macs and cinnabons. Perhaps you think this man is polluting the environment with his smoke, which he is. But so are the factories who produce the useless trinkets and sweat shop sneakers that are sold at your fine establishment. Perhaps you think that by smoking he is supporting the evil tobacco corporations who are bent on killing people for profit, and he is but are not also all those that mindlessly shop also supporting a system of greed and waste. You sir are a hypocrite. Leave now or die."

Needless to say they left. And the ninjas and I laughed and then began playing cards. Girls came by and said hello and pawed at me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


My brother showed me his work site out in the woods. He works for the Washington Conservation Corp. They plant trees and clean up streams and fields. At this particular site, his crew is working with environmental engineers, constructing natural habitat for salmon, using earth and living things as building materials. What I think particularly interesting is how they use steel cables to secure logs at certain points along the stream to create log jams. These natural log jams then become cozy little pools for salmon to play in.

And I think about my own thinking. I have a terrible habit of thinking too much. My thoughts are like a raging river, often rushing off--strait to the ocean. And the ocean is so big. I get lost. I need log jams. I need calm pools to paddle around in. I try to make sense out of where I’ve been--where I’m going and inevitably end up in places too deep. Why do relationships fail? Why is there pain in the world? So off I swim. I swim and swim and pretty soon I’m swimming out loud in the kitchen to my brother about Costco Lasagna, big box stores, modern art, and finally and always God.

Tim-ber! A tree falls into my river. A living memory. Of her hands in soapy water. She’s standing over the sink doing dishes. Her skin is freckled. I want to live--to grok that place where her freckles disappear under the straps of that white tank top. And I’m sitting there, behind her, on a stool and I’m watching her hands. Her red freckled hands meander in and out of the hot sudsy water. Not saying much of anything. So relaxed. Steam condensing on the chapel windows above the sink. The little bubbles on her hands, popping into tiny rainbows. A fizzing sound. A swishing sound. It’s the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen. So simple. So innocent. So right. Contained. Lovely. Homey.

And I paddle. I want to paddle in that pool of memory for ages. But the foam comes in with the current and pulls me out down stream to places too big for this fish.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coffee's on

It's early morning and it's snowing outside my kitchen window. My cat woke me up this morning before dawn, scratching on my bedroom door. I filled his bowl full of food but he hasn't touched it yet. He is sitting on the window's ledge watching the snow fall. I think he just wanted a companion to snow watch.

Coffee's on. Christmas cards are still displayed above the kitchen sink. One has doves fluttering in front of a pastel background; the other a picture of a cozy country church and steeple in a pre-dawn snow covered landscape.

I wonder what are Christmas cards, why do we send them? I think maybe they are symbolic portals, a gateway linking this kitchen to a larger network of family, friends-- humanity. What is the internet, this blog? I guess it has always been a door, a thing to scratch at. Come watch the snow fall with me. Coffee's on.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Extended Forecast

I had a dream last night that I checked the weather forecast on weather dot com and it called for snow this weekend. Lots of it. The little cloud icon for the snow was something else. It didn't just have three flakes coming out of it. Not even four. But Hundreds of flakes, all alive and unique.


It is tiresome always being the strong one. I am weary from all the insecurity and pain in peoples life. I am sick of war, of greed, of cheating, of jealousy, of fear.

I am fed up with giving sound advice to people wandering about in the desert. I am grieved by sudden and pointless death. I am embarrassed by some of the so called wisdom people wear as flamboyant floppy jester hats.

I give to others and don’t expect anything in return but sometimes it would be nice to receive.

I am frustrated by people who build their own worlds and don’t stop to see the natural one. I don’t have time for mockers. I am heart broken by the lost, the sick, the dependent, the down trodden . I can’t live in a world with out genuine love and understanding.

I hate self-righteousness. I fight against evil and am burdened by it’s influence in my own heart. I want to be a warrior. I want to be a priest. I don’t want to want and am ashamed of my own soiled garments. I am exhausted by myself and try to avoid ranting though I always fail to write beauty.

I know that the answer will not be found in the world, in man, in the fruit of tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I know, to well, the rocky, meandering foot paths that lie in the midst of the brambles. I don’t understand how one can argue that peace can be ushered in by means of war. We can not build when we destroy. We can not move forward when we live in the past.

I see God working in the world. I see beauty. I see little children searching for acceptance and love when I look into peoples eyes and I also see the film over their eyes as they try to hide it. My heart opens up so big it feels like it will burst.
I wish we could walk barefoot together down the straight earthy path as the sun rises.

I see the saints marching in. I see the world as it could be, as it should be, as it will be. I want to tell everyone, “Look! Look at how beautiful the world is! And isn’t this all just so curious. Look, we are angels, some of us have broken wings.”

I'm so glad that I don’t have to save the world; that God loves me inspite of my rants and frustrations. I am glad that though I am weak, He is strong. Hey, guys, isn’t this a curious and wonderful world. Look up. Look!