Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Ode to 'You'

This is an ode

to the one everybody likes

talking about on the Internet

in status updates, livejournals, tweets--

anything teenagers can get their keyboards on these days.

So many people admire you from

behind their computer screens,

but at times you do frustrate them.

Then they paint their Facebook walls

with aggressive graffiti aimed at you.

While it takes your admirers and enviers

great courage to drop such bold confessions about you--

especially where all their followers can see--

I can't help but wonder why they fail to drop one other little detail:

YOUR NAME (perhaps

they figure you willl know it's you they are speaking to

if they say it where everyone can read it).

I can't deny that

sometimes I wish I was You;

I envy the attention You gets.

That is why I dedicate these lines to him (or her).

May he (she?) forever dwell in anonymity!

And may I never be reduced to 'you'.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Should We?

These are some song lyrics I had on the back burner for quite some time now. They underwent many changes, but this is a version I'm finally content with. Feel free to share any thoughts after reading.

Why must we grow old?

When you're young you've got so much to live for.

But the world won't stay the same,

So I guess that means we have to change...

We're not getting any younger

So we can't stand still!

We're not growing any wiser

if we ignore our chance until

it's too late.

And time won't wait

so why should we?

Debts we pay

and debts we still owe;

the promises we make

but never keep to ourselves.

At our time's end

are they all we have to show?

Just empty words in dusty books,

hanging on forgotten shelves?

Forever in forgotten realms...

Life is meant

to be lived at full speed,

To cherish every minute

'cause it doesn't last for long.

But when our time is spent

on things we don't need,

we fade into the background

with no magic in our songs.

We lose the magic in our songs...

So we can't stand still!

We're not growing any wiser

if we ignore our chance until

it's too late.

And time won't wait

so why should we?

Why do the weeks grow ever longer

yet pass by oh so quick?

Why is a man like a candle burning*

at both ends of the wick?

I guess we're not

getting any younger...

so we can't stand still.

We won't grow any wiser

if we put off our dreams until

it's too late.

And time won't wait,

So why should we?

*This line is an homage to Suzanne Cleary's poem "From The Boy's Own Book: A Compleat Encyclopedia of All the Diversions Athletic, Scientific, and Recreative, of Boyhood and Youth by William Clarke"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3-2-1 Lyrics

These are the lyrics to the song we wrote during band practice the other day. It's called 3-2-1.

Every day, it's just the same: we bleed and hurt and cry,
But do we ever ask ourselves, "What is the reason why?"
Suffering and misery, momentary happiness--
Is that what life is meant to be? Is there nothing more to this?
Too late! Your time is almost done.
The clock is ticking, seconds draining--

Three, two, one--time to live your life free of pain, guilt, and fear!
Stop yourself--from falling apart.
Hear me out: don't waste your whole life in fear of the grave!
Take control--of your life today.

They say the only answer to your sorrow and pain
is to beg for forgiveness, to pray you'll be saved.
"Atone for you sins," shout the priests from above,
"Give up your life, and we'll give you our love!"
But that, my friends is all a lie,
told to weigh you down till you die...

Three, two, one--time to live your life free of pain, guilt, and fear!
Stop yourself--from falling apart.
Hear me out: don't waste your whole life in fear of the grave!
Take control--of your life today.

Aaand that's basically it. There's a bridge section after the second chorus we might add lyrics to, but for now it's just instrumental. I might start posting more song lyrics here, too. We shall see...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shattering the Looking Glass

I have an astounding number of devout Christian friends, and public displays of their faith are common, particularly on their Twitter pages. Not only is it commonplace for my followers to include "God-lover" in their description, rarely a day goes by without someone mentioning Him (they often capitalize God's pronouns, I've noticed). They tweet things like,
Leaving this in God's hands,
or It's remarkable how much Your spirit is moving in my life,
and So thankful for the many blessings He has given me.
Sure, it's great that my friends feel open about something so personal, but when I read their tweets, I... I can't fight this sense of disconnection. Every prayer, every praise, every dedication to this loving god reminds me of how different I am from them.

It's like my computer screen becomes a window into some world I can't be part of. Looking in I see my friends pouring their lives into this god's ethereal hands, trusting his guidance throughout their hardships, and finding camaraderie among fellow believers. Part of me wants to join their world, but as I try to move closer, all I can do is press my hand on the glass, reminded of my own shattered faith.

I became an atheist several years ago. This entry is not about reconsidering my atheism (I doubt I could convert back to Christianity anyway), but about my desire to feel connected to my friends on the other side of the barrier separating the godless and the faithful. I used to think I could slip beyond it by pretending I still believed in God, and it worked for a while. Everyone assumed I believed in the same god they did, so they welcomed me wholeheartedly into youth groups, church services, and Christian day camps. But even then, that glass wall pressed on my mind, forcing me to keep my true beliefs silent, or openly lying when silence wasn't an option. And I still felt disconnected from most of my friends.

All I want is a true bond with my friends, not a false confidence perpetuated by my fear of confrontation. I won't apologize for who I am, but I am sorry that I lied to you all about it, and I don't want to compromise my true opinions any more. From now on, I want to be as openly atheist as my friends are openly Christian. That is why I am writing this.

It's also why I confessed my atheism on Twitter a month ago. Since then, only one person has asked me about it; I admire her courage. At one point in our conversation, she asked what made me decide to finally come out with my disbelief. I didn't really give her a good answer at the time, but I hope this entry is a more satisfactory response.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blog Post #1

This is an essay about nothing in particular. That's right, I'm free writing. I'm doing it because it's good for me, good for my mind. I've been neglecting my writing all summer long, and now I need to bring my skills back up. Also, I'm writing to help maintain my sanity; it's good to spill your thoughts out in words every once in a while. It gives you a better grasp on your problems, and a better idea of who you are.
And part of knowing who you are is knowing what you believe in. I believe in the human spirit--the spirit of knowledge and learning. I believe it is possible to learn something--perhaps not everything--but something about life in this world. I believe the meaning of life is to find the meaning of life, to seek out answers to every question you ever have--especially the ones you are afraid to ask. Answers are like closed doors doors in your life; questions are the keys to opening them.
The skeleton key to opening every door, unlocking every answer, is one word: why? Why is the most important question to ask because it is flexible--it fits every lock:

"Why does a puddle dry up in the sun?"
"Why are most people afraid of speaking in public?"
"Why does everyone have to die?"

These examples barely scratch the surface of the multitudinous uses of the word, but they do exemplify its ability to cut right to the center of every answer worth searching for. And once you've reached some answers by taking the straightest path to their heart, you can define yourself by what you know through what you've learned and what you believe. I guess that's another reason I should maintain my writing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Introduction of Sorts

So this is my blog. Let this be a prelude to what I shall come to post in the future. I won't promise frequent and/or regular updates, but I will do my best to keep my blog alive. I'll probably write daily reflections, music reviews, maybe even a rant here and there (but I will try to avoid them). Most of the time, I'll probably write about the conversations I want to have when there's no one there to talk to.

So here's to many pages of glorious words on the web yet to come. Cheers!