The fire burned it soft glow against the wall. It's shadows dancing for me. The noise of drunkards and police come in the house up from the street. The sounds and sights are familiar and warm. The peace of the house juxtaposed to the chaos of the streets. I sit on the couch not thinking of what to write next. The words just keep coming to me, just like the beers kept come to Rick and Donna the night they got married in O' Toole's Bar.
The West side of Grand Rapids.
Monday. I do believe it is my favorite night to live in the prayer house. We have community dinner. It's nice. We make food, we get together, we talk, we eat, we laugh, no dancing has ever occurred but truthfully it wouldn't surprise me if it ever did. That's not true. I lied. It would. There is literally no situation where I can see dancing breaking out during our community dinner.
The smell of feta has subsided substantially. Actually completely.
I believe in this moment I can relate to Robert Frost quite well. We both enjoyed the woods. Although he enjoyed being in the woods, I am currently burning down the woods, in a sense. The wood stove is burning nicely and has been for sometime. It was a tough start due to the wood being thoroughly soaked through.
I am happy I don't have miles to go before I sleep. I am also happy that I don't repeat myself.
“That I did always love,
I bring thee proof:
That till I loved
I did not love enough.
That I shall love always,
That love is life,
And life hath immortality.
This, dost thou doubt, sweet?
Then have I
Nothing to show
I think this poem is beautiful.
My thoughts are not flowing. My mind isn't really working tonight. Some days I feel funny and witty. Some days I feel as though I can write. But to be honest I don't know what I would ever write about.
How does a poet make money? I guess a poet is not concerned with such things. I guess thinking about making money means I can't be a poet. I'd like to think they are deep intellects whose minds are not troubled by such things as bank statements or treasury notes. They are poets. But maybe they do think about money. I heard a quote that said, “When bankers get together they talk about art. When artists get together they talk about money.”
All I talked about tonight was food. What do chefs talk about? Maybe that is how I am suppose to find out what I am suppose to do with my life.
I wonder what the most people who have ever talked about me at once are. Has anyone ever sat in a room with a bunch of other people and just talked about me? I don't know why I wonder this, but I do.
I guess it is the need for us to feel important. Oscar Wilde once said, "The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about." We all have it in us. A desire to be liked. And even more simply than that, we all have a desire in us to be noticed. I think we should take time to notice each other more often. So many times people are just asking to be noticed.
I used to attend a school that I hated. John Hersey High School. They actually filmed a horror film in it. I went to a school where a bunch of people with a lot of money, and “artistic vision” though it would be a perfect place to film a horror film. I had to move lockers for that week because I was in the way. The reason I bring this up is not because I am mad I wasn't noticed by the film company or I never got to be an extra or anything. It was because at this school, I simply wasn't noticed. I was forgotten about. I was that shy kid no one cared about. I was that shy kid no one knew existed. It's really quite embarrassing to say out loud, or on paper for that matter, but I ate lunch alone. Almost every day for a whole semester. The only reason I didn't eat alone all year was because an old friend from when I was really little didn't know anyone else who had that lunch second semester so we became friends. That was my sophomore year. I didn't have friends at school that year. On the last day of school we had an assignment due for part of our final in chemistry. It was sort of an acting part. I love acting. I'm good at it. So I gave myself fully to it. People loved me. They thought I was funny and witty. Needless to say the girls thought I was attractive.... I had low self-esteem growing up, I never though any girls found me attractive. But I was asked by multiple people that last day of class. “Have you been in the class all year? Where did you sit?” I sat in the front row, the back row, the middle left, and the upper right side of class. I had been in the same room with these people for 9 months and they didn't know I was alive. People need to be noticed.
Freshman year I ate lunch with my sister. This was when we lived in California. I didn't eat with here because she didn't have friends and I was trying to be nice. I ate with her because neither of us had friends who we could eat with. No one ever asked where I ate or with who. Or whom. Being noticed would have been nice. I wasn't noticed a lot. People need to be noticed.
There is a whole generation of kids who are crying out to be noticed. I am not saying I wasn't noticed as a kid and I had a terrible family or friends. The truth is I had a great family growing up. I still do. I love them dearly, I had a close tight group of church friends who loved me. But I know what it is like in each situation, school, family, friends, and strangers to not be noticed. I know what it's like to start out with this cry in my spirit saying, “look at me I am special, I know I am. Look at me. Notice me. Love me.” And I know what it's like to be ignored and then have the voice turn to questioning. “Am I special, well if I was people would notice me right?” The truth is, I am special. No one is like me. I am hilarious, I am attractive, I am quick and witty. I am in shape, I might not have an amazing six pack, but I am fit. I am loving, loyal, honest, brave, gentle, happy, positive, realistic, smart, very smart, good at sports. I am a great guy. Anyone would be lucky to have me as their friend. But this world has told us that if we don't get everyone to like us right away we aren't special. I am sick and tired of trying to make everyone like me. If there are people who don't like me I don't care anymore. I give up at chasing the approval of the crowds. I am ok with having a small group of friends who would die for me. I want to have a community of people around me who love me for who I am. Through favor and failures. Through hard times and joyful times. Who visit me at work just to say “Hi.” Who know my favorite candy or movies and buy them or watch them with me. Who ask me to hang out or say they appreciate me. I am worthy of appreciation.
Not feeling appreciated is hard. Because that voice comes back and says you aren't worthy of it. But that voice is wrong. That voice is lies. What I've learned is that I deserve to be appreciated and when others don't, yes, it hurts, but that doesn't change the fact that I deserve it.
I don't have to live by the sweat of my brow.
“Man must not live by the sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I.”
I love that quote. I will live it out. This world will see.