Friday, December 25, 2009

the un-replaced

Time has come and gone astray
and memories won’t fade away
I failed the test and now I save
Indifference for another day

How can I let you leave this place?
The choice I made I now must face
Left with but a bitter taste
The vacuum of the un-replaced

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Bad Case of the Mondays

At some point I started counted my life in weeks rather than days. Days that blur into each other, with lines that are difficult to distinguish. I wake up at the same time, go to work at the same time, go to lunch at the same time, go home at the same time.

I spend the whole week waiting for a weekend that is over before it started. I tell myself, "Work hard, play hard" and then spend my weekend nights living it. Monday comes with a vengeance, and I'm suddenly at my desk in a hazy self-induced chemical imbalance. Staring off into nothing, wondering what this new week will bring, and knowing that I don't really need to wonder at all.

I'm not sure if its the routine itself or the nature of my routine. I know i've been told I have a problem being content where I'm at. Supposedly, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

I've blamed it on my job more than a few times. It's kind of funny how bad I wanted this only a few months ago, and how much I would give now to make it go away. A drone for corporate leaders who may never know my name, and will certainly never care.

There must be something more. At some point I will have to demand a purpose and ruffle the feathers meant for flying. On paper, i'm exactly where I should be. But paper is 2-D and it's impossible to quantify the dimensions of reality.

Just another case of the mondays...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Digging holes while my hole gets deeper.

Sometimes life sucks.

Every now and then the cosmic forces of 'who knows what' decide to throw it all at you at once.

For a while you probably had it covered. Everything was fine, fantastic even.

And then one day you wake up and everything is falling apart. The world of comfort that you once knew is now laced with anxiety and fear. You're not sure how you're going to make it.

Maybe you got yourself here. Maybe your choices led you here. Maybe it had far more to do with bad luck than bad choices. Maybe it was a combination of the two.

Either way the future is now ominous territory. Dark and forboding. Hope is a dim light in the distance, no longer a guiding beacon.

If you stop and think, you'll probably realize that you've been here before. You've felt what you feel now, and you will probably feel it again. Cycles are a rule of nature. From peaks to valleys and then back to peaks again. Our lives are very much subject to the cycle.

You will make it.

I will make it.

We will make it because we don't have any other choice. We will make it because we were born to survive.

The worst the bad times are, the better the good times will be. Its the hard times that show you who really loves you. Its the tough times that make you stronger.

You will pull yourself out of your hole but you can't do it all it once. Don't let the future overwhelm you. Make the right choices, right now. Start small, but start somewhere. If you really stop to take a look, you'll know what needs to be done.

Have faith in love. Have faith in those that love you. Have faith in yourself.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday's Best

One Thousand Faces dressed in haste
Sundays best is left to taste
the hardest task I ever faced
was not to steal what they replaced

Drink the cool-aid everyone
the blood of God in simple pun
break the body of his son
forgive yourself for what you've done

Be careful dthat you don't expose
The skeletons that noone knows
Every thorn must have a rose
and preacher has his prose.

One week down and more to go
make sure to greet those you don't know
and laugh like you enjoyed the show
Cuz if you reap,
You might just sow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


"They were pilgrims, for they had resigned, for ever, what the good hold most dear -- their homes. Home can never be transferred; never repeated in the experience of an individual. The place consecrated by parental love, by the innocence and sports of childhood, by the first acquaintance with nature; by the linking of the heart to the visible creation, is the only home. There there is a living and breathing spirit infused into nature: every familiar object has a history -- the trees have tongues, and the very air is vocal. There the vesture of decay does not close in and control the noble functions of the soul. It sees and hears and enjoys without the ministry of gross material substance." excerpt from 'Hope Leslie' by Catharine Maria Sedwick

It doesn't matter how restless I claim my soul is. It doesn't matter where my travels take me or what adventures I may find. My home will never release its claim.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Island, entire of itself

I spend large amounts of time on an island.

Roatan, Honduras to be more specific.

45 miles long, 2 miles wide, perched in the western most part of the Caribbean Sea. A former hideout to Blackbeard the pirate.
Home to the Garifuna, an African tribe that found themselves there after over-throwing their Spanish captors.

A beautiful place to say the least, and trust me that is the least I could say. A visual candy store of colors and life. Crystal oceans that feel like heated pools, and creatures that challenge the atheists dogma.

God simply had to have made this.

I work here.

I'm the financial administrator for a development. A great time to develop, no matter what they say.

A group of Stanford students/missionaries recently came to our property. They came to build houses, because this is the third world. I once knew how the third world got its name but I don't care anymore. All I know is this place makes grown men cry. They cry because they see beauty that is unequaled by anything they're eyes have had the pleasure to absorb, then they keep driving.

They drive past the west end teeming with Bars and hotels full with Americans, Italians and Canadians, spending... spending... spending...

They drive past world class resorts. Places like Nikki Beach that will soon have rooms that fetch $15,000 a night. Places well secured and entirely self contained, nestled flush against the most pristine white beaches and turquoise waters you could imagine.

They drive until the road is no longer paved.

They drive until they can no longer drive.

And here they build a house.

They build a house for Ms Dena. Because hers is falling down. A widow and mother of three, it is only a matter of time before one her children fall through the rotting floor into the ocean/sewage below.

They cry because of the juxtaposition of depravity and beauty. A disparity not easily untangled by the American mind. Our world is a comfortable one.

We are certainly no strangers to poor. But we do not know depravity. We do not know the world of those live with nothing, truly nothing.

Even our poor have freeways.

Even our poor have water.

Our poor are entitled to the basic infrastructures and social safety nets that we have long since taken for granted. The third world is a reminder that such things are not entitlements, they are blessings. They are the fruit of development. The fruit of freedom. That moment is difficult. Torn between thanksgiving and lament. No longer ignorant to blessings, but now in full knowledge of depravity. Tears of equal parts joy and sorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I know how...

I can throw a baseball pretty damn far. And I can catch one pretty damn well too.
I know what to do when I’m getting rag-dolled by a wave… relax.
I know how to swim.
I know how to appreciate art and the beauty that those around me create.
I know how to choose my words wisely.
I know how to listen.
I know that patience really is a virtue.
I know the value of hard work, and the value of those that work hard.
I know how to create.
I know how to treat a woman, how to make her a queen.
I know how to laugh.
I know that a picture is worth far more than a thousand words.
I know how to kick a ball, and throw myself at balls already kicked.
I know that our mistakes do not define us, but their consequences suck.
I know there is a God, and I know that he knows me.
I know how to drive a stick.
I know how to parallel park.
I know that life isn’t worth living, if it means living without coffee.
I know that those who don’t speak much, are taken far more seriously when they do.
I know that love is all you need.
I know that style and grace are way better than tricks.
I know that arguing for arguing sake isn’t really that cool.
I know loyalty.
I know how to check my fluids, and how to jump a car.
I know how to serve a tennis ball.
I know how to play the net.
I know that pain only makes you stronger.
I know that real men cry, but not very often.
I know that war is pain.
I know that when you have nothing to give, you still have your talents.
I know how to be a man,
and you taught me.

Happy Birthday Dad...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Life Long Learner

I guess you could say I’m a thinker.

I suppose thinking is universally pretty constant, which makes my condition rather un-spectacular.

I think therefore I am.

Sometimes I think that I think much more than to be expected, but then I think about how constant thought should always be thought to be expected. Even though a certain mind may lack the more complex cognitions, the moment that a mind ceases to perpetually perform, is the moment that its existence is irrevocably checked.

Why such big words…

I have no choice but to perceive the world around me in a way that is uniquely mine. My mind is what makes me no different from any other, but it itself is of its own kind. Unmatched, unprecedented, unequaled but still a mind like every other that ever has, and ever will, think. Education (institution and non-institution), has not changed the foundational identity of my mind, (me) but it has worked tirelessly to change the process by which my ultimate judgements are achieved.

I am a life-long learner.

Scribed amongst the top goals for any and all graduates of my Alma Matter is the following: “To be a life-long learner”. What’s funny about institutional education is how un-important the facts we all try to learn really are. Institutional education’s true aim is to teach us how to think, how to exist. We are taught how to co-exist with those around us, and how to forge the potency of our own existence into something more meaningful, at least by their standards. We become life-long learners by grasping the dichotomy of true education. Universities and other such institutions are only a part, a half perhaps, or maybe such ratios are erroneous. Because where the conformities of instution end, life begins.

Abri sus ojos.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Age of Information

"What's offensive is not their lying - one can always forgive lying - lying gets you closer to the truth. What is most offensive is that they they lie, and then worship their own lying."

~Fydor Dostoevsky~
Welcome to the age of information.

Five minutes ago I was faced with the daunting task of finding a quote that had stuck with me while reading Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'. Rather than traverse to the bookshelf housing the book and then spend an annoying amount of time trying to pinpoint the exact quote, I turned to my good friend Google. 30 seconds, and some strategically arranged search terms later, I had all the information I needed.
Amongst the internet savvy, Google has become a verb, and a verb used quite often (much to Yahoo's chagrin)
Harry: Hey, what time is that movie playing
Sally: I don't know, Google it.

Harry: What does the "T" in James T. Kirk stand for?
Sally: ummm.... Google it?
The internet has revolutionized the world we live in, and the way we live in it.

Consider the following:
Forbes magazine reported that Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in existence with Assets toppling 1.5 billion dollars at the ripe old age of 23. He got there by creating Facebook, arguably the most popular social networking site on the web, and in turn selling Facebook for an estimated 750 million dollars.

Facebook is free.
For zero dollars a month I stay in touch with my friends and family (my Mom and Dad both recently joined), I share pictures, articles, videos and links, I update my status regularly with witty comments to show how cool I am, I join interest groups and heatedly debate whatever topic suits my fancy and I spend an embarrassing amount of time doing it all. In essence, Zuckerberg and other internet moguls have expanded the mold of traditional economics. Their industry is one in which value is not decided by how many, and for how much, its products will be sold. Instead, valuation is dependent on one variable: information. Matching those who want to be known, with those who want to know.

Of course, our world is one of balance in which every action has an opposite and equal reaction. The age of information has streamlined our businesses, opened up worlds of knowledge that were once unreachable, and connected people in a way that would have been impossible only a short time ago. The benefits seem to be infinite, but the existential laws of nature bow to none. There is a dark side to our progression that cannot be ignored.

Consider nuclear energy.... As quickly as one plant can light the homes of thousands, it can destroy them. The benefit or harm of any advancement is entirely dependent on the hands that use it.

The age of information is only now blossoming. The momentum of progression is unmatched by any point in history. Yet as we celebrate the vastness of the possibilities before us, we must also guard ourselves from the evils that come equally.

Truth is always some form of information, but every form of information is not necessarily truth.

p.s. the "T" In James T Kirk stands for Tiberius. But I didn't need Google for that, I just knew it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Waves are a lot like people…

There are good ones and there are bad ones. Some are destined to destroy and some provide joy to those around them. Each is born and inevitably each one dies. Most importantly, they are subject to the ultimate conundrum: we are all the same, but every single one of us is different. The divine fingerprint left on creation. By the miracle of some genetic card shuffle each one of us joins the cosmos irrevocably unique from every other, only to be shaped to uniqueness further still by the environment, events and people that make up our existence.

Those of us that have built a culture and a lifestyle around riding these waves know how important that connection really is. We know with certainty that every wave we have ever ridden is a distinct experience in its own right. Though we may enjoy hundreds if not thousands of waves in a lifetime, every single one provides an experience in someway different from every other. Like the multitudes of personalities that we will interact with in a lifetime, we combine with every wave to produce a completely separate, entirely unique experience.

There enlies the soul of surfing. The heart of our hobby so often corrupted when we call it a sport. In the ocean, we are in the realm of the majestic. We are visitors in a grand creation that we have no choice but to revere. By riding the ocean’s waves we engage in a dynamic dialogue with the creation, and thus the creator, to which we all are explicitly tied. Our reverence turns into worship and our hobby becomes a religion, a holistic lifestyle expression that reflects our relationship with the divine.

Letter to a Coach


I realize that a letter may seem like a cop-out, but I feel the most effective way to finally voice my grievances will be in writing. Obviously this comes in the wake of senior day. A day in which we honor the time spent at Westmont and the fact that for the seniors, it is the last time they will pull on a warrior’s jersey on Karr field. You spoke with poise before the game about the importance of this tradition. You mentioned that winning and playoffs are important, but all that is superseded by the recognition of those who will have served their last home game with the warriors. You spoke to the boys of playing in honor of our names and the performance that entails. To be honest, it would have been quite touching, had Justin’s name not been on the whiteboard. Walking in and seeing that was one of the most crushing experiences of my 21 years, but I do not write this for pity. Instead, I challenge you to look again at your decision, because we all know that hindsight is 20-20.

You once called me a hypocrite. You felt as if the words I spoke did not match up to my actions. I now return the favor. Being a part of the Westmont Warriors is more than being “the Winningest team in the history of the NAIA”, it is about pride, heritage, passion, and the elements of holding Christ preeminent. Your decision not to play me on Saturday demonstrated decisively that you no longer care about the true moral and spiritual fabric of the squad, only its record. I have trained hard and well. If asked, you would find that EVERY player in the club would prefer me in the goal. In my opportunities between the pipes I have been consistent, calm and poised. I conceded only one goal in 90 minutes against the number one team in the nation while on three hours of sleep and battling a debilitating stomach flu. You gave me a three.

I mention these things to illustrate that playing me on Saturday would not have been a stretch. It would have been an opportunity for me to come together with my brothers and celebrate an incredibly important chapter of my life that has now come to a close. It would have been exactly what being a warrior should be about, whether we won or lost. Instead it was a farce. It was a halftime walk to pick up a meaningless memento and return empty smiles. Would it be too much to ask for a mere acknowledgement of your decision not to play me rather than finding out in front of my whole team as I walk into a classroom? Am I so terrible a goalkeeper that I can’t go in with a 2 goal lead? I implore you to improve your one-on-one communication, and perhaps even listen when older players confront you on line-up decisions rather than degrade them to some sort of “political faction”. Coaching should be a conversation, not a soap box.

Long before I was even Tanner’s age I dreamed of being a Warrior. I watched dozens of games growing up, but I firmly believe that it was not the caliber of soccer which drew me here. It was the respect that the program demanded. It was the way the men who called themselves Warriors carried an aura of being a part of something that is much bigger than themselves. They knew that they were a part of a program with deep-seeped tradition and pride, which goes far beyond winning. Few, if any, match my love for this program, so it fits that I serve as its martyr. I do not write this letter to hurt you or vent my anger. It is my deepest hope that my words and experiences will re-align your priorities and remind you what makes Westmont so great. Any school can build a winning soccer team. The truest rarity is that program which is a source of pride to its players, fans and community, no matter its record.

The program is in peril. Your actions this season have left our younger players especially without a sense of heritage and pride. Do you think the boys didn’t tune in to the strategically applied suspension system? It’s all very good to punish the wrong-doers, as long as our chances of winning are not affected. What do you think they thought when they saw that the senior who was supposed to serve a two-game suspension was made to dress out and travel “incase something happens”? Do you wonder whether your words still carry any weight?

I have often found myself flirting with quitting altogether or even just regretting my decision to play again. Then, every day at 3:00 I walk into the locker room. I see the faces of those men who have become my brothers and I realize that it is for them that I hold strong to the end… because true families don’t quit on each other. I can never regret my decision to play this year if only for the relationships that I have formed. I will never forget the bitterness that soured the end of my collegiate soccer career, and the amazing group of friends who spoke for me, and supported me through it.

This season has been one of the most frustrating, humbling, and angry of my life and for that I thank you. I will emerge better than I was, refined by fire, and I truly believe that was God’s plan. I hope that my words have been respectful and that you will absorb them with an open mind. Finally, I pray that the men who call themselves Warriors will one day realize what they currently do not. Westmont soccer is much bigger than a scoreboard…

And it is worth fighting for.



Friday, February 20, 2009

to break or be broken

Is it harder to get your heart broken or to break a heart.

I'm not really sure there is an answer, but I know this:

For those of us whose hearts does not consist merely of stone and ice. The burden of truth is almost unbearable. To be true to ourselves we must also be true with those closest to us, even if mutual expectations begin to mis-align. It would seem that burden lies with those who love and are not loved equally, but perhaps the opposite is just as painful. When you hold somebodies heart in your hand you can't just give it back.

To hurt someone you love is hard to do. But it seems that often times its the most loving thing you could do.

Such is life.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Simple Things

I've decided that life really is all about the simple things.

The best songs, the tastiest meals, the unforgettable moments, are almost always so simple. So basic, but so universally loved.

When we are children this is our world.

As we build our powers of reason everything becomes so complicated, but no matter how tangled a web we weave, our basic senses our thrilled by creations of simplicity.

As if longing for a better time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The greatest fear

My entire life I've been a student... Until now.

I graduated college, and like the rest of my peers was thrown smack dab into reality. A reality which is really simple.

To survive, one needs money.

To earn money one must work.

Therefore, to survive one must work.

I have only recently stepped out onto the career path, and to be honest my current profession is far from ordinary. I work from a home office for a company that consists of two. I take ping-pong breaks from time to time and maintain an admirable level of flexibility. All of this is in exchange for my current salary, which in this humble writers opinion is sorely deflated.

My point is not dear nor is it concise. The only point I intend to convey is that recently my days have been marred by bouts of anxiety. The type of anxiety that does not stem from my work-load or what I am responsible for. This anxiety stems purely from the fact that I must work.
Right away, one may assume that I'm a lazy bastard and would rather spend my time lounging on a sofa eating mission tortilla chips and drinking Newcastle. In truth it is not working that scares me, it is routine. It's the thought of waking up everyday and knowing that it will be the same as the last and the same as the next.

I fear the death of spontaneity.
The inability to go where the wind blows and live primarily for the present.

I fear the death of individuality.
The inevitable decline of self-worth one must face as a sub-ordinate.

My fears are unfounded, but nonetheless real. As I mentioned earlier my job is far from Office Space and for that I am thankful. But my anxiety persists.

As the Grouch would say:

"Sometimes I can't live it but I can word it
That's my therapy so dear to me and I know this
But often its so hard to keep my focus."