Dé Céadaoin, Bealtaine 20, 2009

un-alone in the dark...

I sometimes envision myself in a dark room. standing somewhere off center. I don't know where I am, but that doesn't seem to bother me. I seem perfectly content to stand there, trying to notice anything that might be around me. people and faces rush by, talking to me, sometimes just barely noticing that I'm there. Some I recognize, other I don't. Voices call out from a distance and an barely hear them, yet somthing tells me they're important. Sometimes everything stops, the people, the faces, the voices disapear. The quiet of it fades until I can hear the blood pounding in my ears. then slowly the voices, then the faces, and eventually the people reappear. I see them all, though many i ignore. Sometimes, I try to move toward one of them, but every step seems to take me nowhere. Sometimes the steps seem to drive them away, as if the distance was what was needed between us and the lose of it enough to send them into hiding. I never seem confused, I seem to accept this reality, though still push the boundries of it. Through it all, I never quite feel alone. even when the faces, and voices disappear, I never have the sence that I'm alone. In fact, it's in those cases when they are gone that I have a greater sence that there is more than me in this room...

Dé Sathairn, Bealtaine 16, 2009

The Lauridsen "Lux Aeterna"

I've always loved the sound of sung Latin. It's flows, almost as if it was created for singing. There are only a few languages I know that make singing easier, French and Latin are my favorites. Latin is first of those. Jordan Davis introduced me to the Lux Aeterna. It never fails to ease my mind. I never consider it a waste of time simply to sit and listen to it start to finish. To be honest I don't know if I've ever not listened to it in it's entirety. It wasn't until recently that I found a copy of the vocal score with a translation of the text. The text is taken from portions of the the Requiem mass, Te Deum, O Nata Lux, and Veni, sancte spiritus. Each passage speaks of God the source of light. I love the text of this cycle. It speaks of how the light of the world came to save us, how it purvades our lives, shines through us, grants us peace and rest. The phrase Lux Aeterna occures only once through out the piece, and that is at the end:

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine:
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:
quia pius es.

May light eternal shine upon them, O Lord:
in the company of thy Saints for ever and ever;
for thou art merciful.

Lux Aeterna, Eternal Light. It's an important concept for someone like me who often sees himself in very dark places, surounded by dark influence, steeped in dark thought. Honestly when my thoughts grow overly dark this is the first piece of music I turn to. It's not that I only turn to this, but I feel that if God has granted me a piece of music that can ease my mind, and remind me of part of who He is and who I am to Him that I should be grateful and indulge in it regularly. I see God in music, I hear God in music, and I feel God in music...and I bless him for it.

Lux Aeterna

I. Introitus

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Deus in Zion
et tibi redetur votum
in Jerusalem:
exaudi orationem mean,
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem Aeternam Dona eis, Domine:
et lux perpetua luceat eis

rest eternal grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them
A hymn befits thee, O God in Sion.
and to thee a vow shall be fulfilled
in Jerusalem:
Hear my prayer,
for unto thee all flesh shall come.
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

II. In Te, domine, Speravi

Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna coelorum.
Exprtum est in tenebris lumen rectis.
Miserere nostri, Domine
miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, domine, super nos
quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te domine, speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.

To deliver us, you became human,
and did not disdain the virgin's womb.
having blunted the sting of death, You
Opened the Kingdom of heaven to all believers.
A light has risen in the darkness for the upright.
haver mercy upon us, O Lord,
Have mercy upon us.
Let thy mercy be upon us, O Lord,
as we have trusted in thee.
In thee, O Lord, I have trusted
let me never be confounded.

III. O Nata Lux

O nata lux de lumine,
jesu redemptor saeculi,
dignare clemens supplicum
Laudes preces que sumere.
Qui carne quondam contegi
dignatus es pro perditis.
Nos membra confer effici,
tui beati corporis.

O born light of light,
Jesus, redeemer of the owrld,
mercifully deem worthy and accept
the praises and prayers of your supplicants.
thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost ones.
grant us to be made members
of your holy body.

IV. Veni, Sancte Spiritus

veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte coelitus
Lucis tuae radium.
Veni, pater pauperum,
Veni, dator munerum,
Veni, lumen cordium.

Come, Holy spirit,
send forth from heaven
the ray of thy light
come, Father of the poor
Come, giver of gifts
come, light of hearts.

Consolator optime, Dulcis hospes animae,
Dulce refrigerim.
In labore ruquies,
In aestu temperies,
In fletu solatium.

Thou best of consolers,
Sweet guest of the soul
Sweet refreshment.
In labor, thou art rest,
In heat, the tempering,
In grief, the consolation.

O lux beatissima,
Reple cordis intima
Tuorum fidelium.
Sine tuo numine
Nihil est in homnie,
Nihil est innoxium.

O light most blessed,
fill the inmost heart
of all thy faithful
without your grace,
there is nothing in us,
Nothing that is not harmful.

lava quod est sordidum,
Riga quod est aridum.
Sana quod est sucium.
Flecte quod est rigidum,
Fove quod est frigidum
Rege quod est devium.

cleanse what is sordid,
moisten what is arid,
heal what is hurt
flex what is rigid
fire what is frigid
correct what goes astray

Da tuis fidelibus,
In te confidentibus,
Sacrum septenarium.
Da virtutis meritum,
Da salutis exitum,
Da perenne gaudium.

Grant to thy faithful,
those trusting in thee,
thy sacred seven-fold gifts
Grant the reward of virtue
Grant the deliverance of salvation
grant everlasting joy.

V. Agnus Dei - Lux Aeterna

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem.

Lamb of god,
who takest away the sins of the world,
grant them rest

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem.

Lamb of god,
who takest away the sins of the world,
grant them rest

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona es requiem sempiternam

Lamb of god,
who takest away the sins of the world,
grant them rest everlasting.

Lux aeterna luceat eis, domine:
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum:
quia pius es.

Light eternal shine upon them. O Lord
in the company of thy Saints forever
for thou art merciful.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et Lux perpetua luceat eis.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Alleluia. Amen.

Dé Domhnaigh, Bealtaine 03, 2009


There's a silence so deep that it' can be felt in the core of your being. Where you hold your breath at the risk of disturbing it. That moment between the conductor's baton click and the first note lasts an eternity. The anticipation of what's to come can stop your heart in that moment, then release you. Release you from all that encumbers you. In that moment, life is perfect. At least I think so...

I saw the movie the soloist yesterday...well, Friday...I guess it's already Sunday as I type this. It wasn't what I thought it would be. It was a movie about a relationship, and one that in itself would make you feel good at the end. What I didn't expect was that it's a movie about belief. About a man who didn't believe anything, a man without passion, who was change by a man who believed so hard in one thing, believing that, as the movie stated, if all else failed that it "would carry him home." That's all I really have to say about it now, which i guess is nothing. It's a major statement, it moved me, I was moved by it, but now...life goes on.

I'm really tired right now, but I just feel that I need to get some more out before I crash. So tired. I've not been sleeping well lately. I get to the point where I should be sleeping and I either stay up for some reason, usually not a good reason either, or at the moment I'm about to fall asleep a thought will pop into my mind and keep me up. To be honest it's normally people who keep me up. They don't do it on purpose, and I'm sure if they knew they would remove themselves from my thoughts so I could get a bit of restful sleep.

I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis right now. It's hard for me say that. I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis right now. I think that I've been trying to find myself in the wrong things. In people who really don't have any weight in my life. Only one of them in fact would I actually say that I cared about what she thought of me. My stomach is doing somersaults right now just by writing this, as if I was telling this to her face. Words are starting to fail me right now...Without knowing it I've placed the value of my existence in her opinion of me. I can't do that. It's fruitless to begin with, that one. And it's not just her, there are several people lately that I've placed a lot on what we do together, where we go, how much time we spend with each other. I've seemingly given my purpose to people who neither want it or deserve it for that matter. I'm not even sure when I started doing this. I mean, I've always wondered what my friends really think of me, who I am to them, that sort of thing, but I've at least always known that my reason for being doesn't rest on them. I'm still me after they're gone, just like I was me before they were there. I don't understand how this happened. The one I know, but the rest...it doesn't make sense.

I sometimes get the feeling that I want to sever all ties. Start over. I'm not saying it's a smart idea, and I'm sure there are some people out there who would say that I've done that already. That maybe that would be easier. Just cut everything off, leave or stay, and just start my relationship over again. That maybe the ones I have are too complicated, too hard, not really worth it. clean sweep...no. That wouldn't be good. it's a bad idea, and I'd never be able to pull it off anyway.

I don't know why I have the feeling that a boulder is about to drop on my head. That one last piece of information that comes and destroys the fantasy that you've created. I'm just tired I guess. I mean even if the one that I'm thinking of did happen, life would continue. Saving grace I guess. Life goes on. We continue existing, we continue moving. I mean in the end I don't believe that this is everything. I get hung up on it all the time, but this is not the end all be all. I had a conversation back in January I think, it been a while and I don't remember when it was. Before I moved in with Ben, but that doesn't mean anything to anybody but me. I was siting in one of my local coffee shops...yes I said one of, I have three that I frequent...no one should be surprised. I was still there with a cup of tea, reading Mear Christianity...which has no basis to the story unless the gentlemen who sat down at my table noticed what I was reading before he sat. He asked me if he could sit, and I said yes, the place being pack with high schoolers and college students, and me having a table to myself. We quickly struck up a conversation. He was an older gentlemen, retired lawyer actually. It was a long conversation about right and wrong, afterlife or no afterlife. world conspiracies, and the ridiculousness of life. The man was a bit of a nihilist. He never said that out right of course, no one would unless they were completely pretentious. He told he that he didn't believe that there was an absolute right or wrong. He was not comfortable with absolutes of any kind, To the point where he questioned me when I said that murder was wrong no matter what historical, cultural, or other perspective we chose to look at it through. He told me he didn't believe in an afterlife because he didn't want to see the point in living past this life. Not that the idea was a bad one, not that he's an atheist and doesn't believe in God, not that there's no scientific proof. He didn't want to believe that there was one...I cried a little bit afterwards. I asked him, what If? He would say that there is so much that can't be known and maybe this was one of those things, and I said what if he could know? I dont' want to know know, but eternity I would say. legacy he would say, exactly I would say. I just don't know the if he would say, I want to but I can't. He so wanted to believe that there was somthing better that what he knew. Eventaually words failed both of us, he finished his coffee, thanked me, and left. This man wanted to believe that there was somthing more, but didn't know if he could face it, and for that matter didn't want to face it.

I have to believe that there is something else there. I have to believe that this shit of an existence, this hell I'm living is not all there is. There as to be more than loneliness, than absurdity, than swine flu and cancer, than economic downturn and endless debt, than gay rights and right to life, than war on drugs, terrorism, hunger, and global warming. There has to be more than what I see around me. Because what's around me, it's not worth the effort of getting out of bed in the morning. This world is lost and wants to keep me lost with it, but there's more, I know there's more. And I'm constantly at odds with the world, because I know that there's more. I've been promised that there's more. And that more that is trying to guide me home, I just keep letting the world get in the way.

Dé hAoine, Aibreán 24, 2009


my life has changed...I'm not the man I was when I left college. If fact I would have to say that I've changed more in the last year, then I did during my entire collegiate career. The fundamentals are still the same, I am still me. I'm still sarcastic to a fault, I still find humor in dark subjects, my faith is steadfast if not always as strong as I would like it to be, I still see the beauty in small things, the things that most people know about me are still the same. It's really the small things that have changed about me, my overall world view has changed, I question more, trust less. I question myself more and more, and seem to find that the conclusions that I come too are not always the ones I'm comfortable with. I find myself more an more trying to separate my feelings from what actually is. Sometimes it's easy and simple, sometimes it's hard to tell where one stops and the others begin. We spend so much time steeped in emotion, we often let them guide us solely, and sometimes that is the right action. Sometimes we need to jump in with both feet, led by the heart, not caring what the consequences maybe, knowing only that they are worth enduring. But sometimes we have to separate ourselves from what we feel, so that we can step back and take moment to understand the situation better, know the consequences, know which evil we are to chose.
I don't find myself in the situation currently, but it has been where my thoughts are lately. My thoughts have been dark lately, but not always, and not for long. I've been spending a great deal of time alone, which ultimately means I've spent a lot of time thinking. never a good idea, I know. I was talking to Liz last night, we were going to watch a movie together...which means we were going to watch the same movie while talking on the phone...but that didn't happen. I talked a lot last night. I know that a lot of it sounded depressed, melancholic, it was a dark day. I was alone, didn't have much to do, I've been confused lately about my career choice. I have the sinking feeling that I'm not cut out for this, but I enjoy it too much to not give it my best shot. I think the thing is, I just have so much that I want to do. I'm afraid of getting stuck in a situation where I can't get out simply because I need to pay the bills. I'm terrified of that. There's so much to do. I want to act, I want to be the music minister in a church, I want be an academic and pursue knowledge, I want to go into the mission field, I want to teach, I want to get married and start a family. I good many of these can be followed with the phrase "Someday...". One at a time, maybe two. Each in their time, in God's time. I just wish, and I say this with all reverence and respect, that God would hurry up. I've always wanted to know the ending first, I've learned to take joy in the journey, it's just that there are times during the journey that you wish that it was over. (I don't mean completely)
Last Saturday was gorgeous. Clear blue skies, upper 60's, not humid at all. So I went hiking...naturally. I drove to Doubling Gap, about an 1hr and half away so that I could hike Flat Rock. It's 5 miles round trip, 2.5 miles up and thus the same back. 2.5 miles of pure hell. I hate hiking it, I dread it. I know that it will take me at least 2hrs just to get up. That I'll stop every fifty yards, simply because my legs can't take it anymore. I'll contemplate turning around every time I stop. I'll swear out loud at myself for doing something as absurd as hiking to Flat Rock. And I mean swear, those of you unfortunate enough to see me truly angry know what that looks like. It's quite impressive if I say so myself, dirty, hot, tired, and unable to express myself in anything but "four letter words." This is one of the reasons I normally hike alone. The thing is I know all of this before I go. I know exactly what it's going to be like, and I know exactly what the temperature will do to further exacerbate the problem. I know all of this and yet I take the best day of the year so far and throw it into at least 2hrs of what was described to me on Saturday as a "hell walk." Why? Because I know what waits for me at the end of those 2hrs of hell. I'm not going to share a picture, I'm not going to explain to you what you see, any attempt to do so would cheapen the experience. If you're ever in the area on a nice day and want to see something breath taking, just ask and I'll try not to swear to much...
I say all this because I know that this is what life is like. I know that in the end everything will make sense, or with all hope it all won't matter. The end may not justify they means, but it will give purpose to the journey. It will all have meaning in the end. It all has meaning now, I just seem to be stuck on the fact that I don't know what that meaning happens to be. I know it has purpose, He gave it purpose. I may not always seem happy, but I always have joy. May He never let me be content, complacent, or contrived. May He always keep me true, loyal, persistent, and loving. Amen.
To the journey, and the destination...may I enjoy them both...someday.

Dé Máirt, Eanáir 27, 2009

I took this picture with my phone when I was in Connecticut. I don't know why like it so much. Maybe it's because it explains who I am so well. Someone who seems to be just coming out of the darkness, or slowly sinking into it. I can't tell which sometimes. I can't tell even know. I feel odd, it's weird, not that I feel odd that's almost normal...which raises the question how I know I feel odd...I won't get into it anymore than to say that I know myself and I know when this are different. boring...I just realized I'm writing off the top of my head with no where to go...no where to go...trapped. I don't feel...

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 16, 2009

Things I remember...

Jenny and Erica used to sneak up behind me each grabbing an arm and start singing the Truly Scrumptious song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They did this because I hate the song, lucky for them it made me love them even more. It's a simple memory, but it's one that I only remembered because I stumbled upon this photo while going through boxes of junk I needed to throw away. I remember my first senior year, Jenny ended up getting mono at the beginning of the year and went home to get better. She ended up not coming back at all that year. It was a sad day when I found that out. Erica and I both took it hard, and I really started to miss those little surprise sing-a-longs. Jenny was like a sister to me, and I've not heard from her in a long, long time. Miss you both.

What I want...

does it matter? Does it really matter what I want? Some would say no, that fate has chosen what I'm meant to do in my life, who I'll meet, what friends I'll have, whether or not I'll marry. I mean is that all there is? Has life decided for me what roll I'm to play in the world? Or is it simply safer that way...
What if what I want has merit? What if by one single decision I could change the world? What if what I wanted, was how God decided what I'm to be doing with my life? What are the desires of my heart? Are they placed there by a loving God directing me toward the path I should be walking? But this is dangerous you see. When my desires, my wants, have purpose I am then culpable for what I do and what happens because of what I do.
What if what I want...changes? Does that make what I wanted before any less right and true? Does it mean that what my wants become are now something less than before? Or worse yet, what happens you can't decide what you want? What is the pain you feel when you're torn between what you want?
What if you run from what you want? What if what you want scares you because your afraid you can't have it, or that you'll change into something you don't understand? Does it corrupt it when you want something you can't have, just by the nature of wanting it? Or is it the nature of the unavailability of what you want that makes it wrong? Can you hide from what you want, or are you fated to long for it, until you have it, until you want something else? And if you want something else does that mean that you never really wanted the other thing in the first place? Can you allow others to effect what you want? Is their objection to you wanting something a valid reason for then trying to not want it?

I don't know, and I don't see an easy answer. I do know that I now know what I want, and while I'm not sure if I can have it, I will pursue it. I've been brought up to believe that a man is honest, loyal, slow to anger, and while not eager to please willing to do so. Sometimes we live by our obligations to others, but sometimes we must be obligated to ourselves. Sometimes it's simply trying something new, following through on a project you started, but sometimes...sometimes it's laying it all out to be seen. There comes a time when it's best to lay all of your cards on the table, and see where you stand.

That's where I am. I'm about to show my hand, and what will come of it? The risk of it all is what is on my mind right now, does the dividend out weigh the risk? Do I have any real provocation for acting so? Right now, my only provocation is peace of mind. I simply need to know, and move forward. What I risk losing, what I have now no longer seems sufficient, and what I have to gain...we it's all I can think about. So much so that it keeps me up at night. I'm tired and I'm ready to sleep. God knows I need peace of mind, and I have only one option left. I can't see things staying the same, and I don't want them too.