Beautiful Silence of Voices

Beauty born out of grief

tears shed from a somber melody

soft violins with steady progressions

eloquently caressing the tender heart strings

Oh, grief! Oh, human condition reflected so deeply from the wells of music

a heartfelt ache of isolation remedied by steady strings that silence and soothes the soul

An acceptance for loss of words, allows the human heart to be felt rather than explained…

an anxious pause in writing to meditate on things language longs to comprehend and erect a tower of highest pedestals.

One may say Language is an apex of human achievement. But consider when we allow silence to reign for a bit. To let go of in information and words we so quickly spew. These words that cause the downfall of others. Rash, harsh sounding language that knows no bounds. These are the apex of our fall. Lies constructed to hide Truth.

Let’s only open our mouths in awe of life. All of it. Not just life from our own thinking and talking. But life shared with a community of voices longing for the world to be silent for once! So that they can be heard amongst the noise.

Breath in the air from your mouth. Let it dance upon your tongue as you reflect on the life it gives you every day. Now speak from your tongue and give that breath back to others who long for a life-giving “hello”.

Billions of mouths but so little ears. Outnumbered. No wonder there’s no wondering of things beyond our scope.

So let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry… But let our speech be unrestrained from goodness while keeping a tight reign over its firey evils. For human anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires

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Morning Woes and Romance De Amor

I woke up late this morning for work. Now I have an hour to waste at home.

“Gan ni chi ba”, is heard in the living room as my mom continues to yammer on about our house. I’m not too sure what “chi ba” means or if I’m even hearing it correctly, but what I do know is “Gan ni” is fuck you in Chinese. This phrase is about 90% of what I hear come out of my dad’s mouth to my mom.  You’d think I’d know what “chi ba” or “chi da” or whatever, means by now but I don’t.

I pick up my guitar while on my bed to drown out the immediate boredom, frustration, and laziness I get when waking up to this noise. I pick out the strings for Romance de’ Amor while the chorus of the morning plays in the background. Dogs barking, birds chirping, crickets cricketing, and parents parenting.  I play the song imperfectly two more times, meditating on the notes and beauty of the song before finally getting out of bed to get ready for work. I wash my face, brush my teeth and comb out half of my bed hair and cover the rest with my beanie. In the living room, my dad, head full of white hair, continues to lay in bed while my mom looks curiously outside the window with a million more words to say.

Romance of love was what was played in the morning by guitar strings and this is what is expected for my heart strings to play throughout the morning, afternoon and night time. We are called to love and be loved in the midst of chaos and unrest that surrounds us.

Oh, how this feels opposed to every fleshly fiber of my body

when sleep becomes the king and escape is his decree

What a lovely king he seems to be to offer a soft bed

During times of war, famine, and things that are said

But when the time comes and the war is over

We will realize that this bed is rather

an infirmary for fallen

soldiers of men

Made by a Prince in disguise

To entice

us in our evil desires, sin, and deeds

and when these sins are fully conceived

We lie dead

on our soft infirmary bed

But I hear a roar in the distance

Awake from your slumber and cease your resistance

For I have made you strong in your weakness

I have healed and freed you from your sickness,

So get up, pick up your bed and go!

For you will reap what you sow

No longer are you paralyzed by your flesh

For in Me you will find rest.

This rest that comes from the author of love. This “Romance de Amor” is what he played for us throughout his life and death. It is what’s placed in us through the Word and this is how and why we are to love despite what surrounds us. Beauty that emanates from His song reminds me of the many things to be thankful for. At this moment I only see a glimmer of it, and many times it’s mixed with sour notes and untuned strings of my own heart, yet I see the immense beauty that could be if I just spent more time in it.

Search For Beauty

We all find beauty in different areas in life. Some may find beauty in music, art, poetry, literature, or in another person. For some of us, however, beauty may be a very ephemeral thing that we rarely experience in life. This post is for these people.

I believe lasting beauty comes from an active pursuit of it. All of us are endowed with a mind, but not all of our minds are programmed to see the beauty in all things. For example, a song can invoke joyous emotions for one, but may be seen as noise to another. A book can stimulate profound thoughts for one, but bore the hell out of another. Appreciation of something comes from the psychological and emotional understanding of that thing. But this appreciation of beauty corresponds to the amount of effort and investment one puts to it. A person may find a video game to be very uninteresting and pointless,  but to a gamer who invests time into it, they are able to see its beauty through the complex strategies, artwork, and extraordinary skill it takes to become proficient in it.

From these things, I come to the idea that if a person does not actively pursue something of beauty or meaning, then they will be left void of it. This is why I find stagnation in life such an ugly experience. One of the most common responses I give when someone asks me “what I’m doing” or “what did you do this week”  is “nothing”. “Nothing” is such an unfulfilling response to give for anything because it represents a lack of beauty, of meaning, of having something worthy of sharing with others.

I believe this is a very common attitude today. We live in a society always surrounded by “something”. We are always doing “something”, whether its gaming, texting, Facebooking, or working, but inside we are always filled with nothing. I think we feel this way because we are passively, rather than actively seeking beauty. I don’t blame us for doing this because this is what society teaches us. It tells us what is and what isn’t fun, exciting, sexy,  and beautiful.We don’t need to actively search for these things because we are told that they’re literally at our fingertips.

We are all products of this environment. This is one reason why I think people are so depressed. We are bombarded with quick fixes of beauty that we can never fully obtain. Images of half naked bodies, fancy cars, mouth-watering foods, and Pokemon mastery  have become our lives. Perfection has replaced beauty. But these are facades, mere shadows of reality! We are given a strip-tease of these things that we desire, but can never have. Is this really the life we want? To live entranced and controlled by shadows? To always be in a passive pursuit of a shadow that we’re taught to see as meaningful?

If we want to escape these shadows, we must be willing to escape our dark caves and enter into the bright and huge world of reality. This is not an easy task. Our eyes will sting as we adjust to the light, our skin will get sunburned as the rays warm our bodies, and our hearts will fear as we peer into the unknown. We will have a desire to go back to the safety of the cave, but for those who can endure the light and continue to venture out into reality,  beauty starts to show her lovely face.

So my advice to you and to myself is to put down our phones, close our laptops, and go pursue beauty. Not the kind of beauty that is a quick fix, but the lasting, meaningful beauty that takes active effort, practice, dedication and pain. If you don’t know what that is, then look for it. Take a walk in the park, watch a sunset, have a meal with a friend, pick up a guitar, read a book, do something new. 

I write because I find beauty in it. Writing is the way I express the beauty I see through the things I read, think about, and experience in life. I believe it is profound, meaningful, and beautiful, and I want to share it with others. However, writing isn’t easy for me. It takes an active pursuit of words and sentences that constantly escape my thoughts, but I endure the long hours because I see beauty in the process and the end product. Likewise everything that I find beautiful takes work.

A brilliant art piece takes hours of work to complete, the ability to create complex melodic riffs on a guitar takes hours of practice, a breath taking view takes miles of hiking up a mountain. This pain and effort is required and adds substance to the things we find beautiful. I leave you with these questions:

What are things, experiences, and people in your life that you find beautiful? Did you have to suffer or work hard in order to appreciate or understand it as beautiful? Does the active and continual pursuit of these things bring meaning back into life?