The magnitude of what I have learned and un-learned this summer is too great to recount in any bit of detail at this point. Too much to chew, so I wouldn't want you to choke. I know the Heimlich but I'm a nice guy first and foremost. I won't subject you to intentional conceptual gagging. However I will touch on the major points of growth, lessons learned, hardships endured and joy felt through a sharing and analyzing of some of my summer poems.
1. Context: I worked at Six Flags as a live performer in multiple shows and the Glow in the Park Parade! One of my character's names was Chris Seafoam, another was Scott Smithsonian. WOW. One night during the parade I happen to catch the eye of a recent ex girlfriend. It was messy and I was still thinking I could salvage things. The truth came out pretty well. It always does.
Poem Number Three on Love Lost At the Parade
Amidst the glow,
and in the show
I saw you there
within the mass.
Who are you now?
I wonder how,
we ever came
to be this way.
If eye to eye,
I’d ask you why.
but silence kills
the hope within.
The music’s done,
we had our run.
And time reveals,
the heart moves on.
This one is about the dawning realization that the relationship I had previously ended in the Spring was really over. Sometimes hope is misplaced and we don't see who a person truly is until we are away from a bad situation. Enough about that. However I learned some great things about myself and about what I want and don't want in a relationship, so positive change no doubts or regrets. I got over it fast with a summer fling...guilty.
2. Context: A group of friends and I decided to fourth-meal it up at a local diner. I had coffee and waffles and was reflecting on some Shel Silverstein I had read a few hours earlier.
Waffles, waffles everywhere and not a drop to drink.
But can you drink a waffle? The answer’s no… I think.
The sugar makes my coffee sweet; it’s tiny, white like snow.
The cream, it makes my black turn brown the caffeine makes me go!
The waitress is a little off my waffle a bit too small.
If there be a tip tonight there won’t be much at all.
3.Context: It was my day off so I went to Six Flags to chill. Go figure. I watched the sunset on top of the Ferris Wheel. I watched the Parade for the first time. It was spiritual and made me want to describe and contrast light created by God and light created by us. Keep in mind that Parade would have made Thomas Edison crap his pants.
Wonders of God, wonders of man
I am in wonder at the wonders of God.
I stand in awe at the wonders of man.
I see the soft glow of painted sky.
I feel the bright glow of magic movement.
I taste the dull fade in cloud’s tangerine light.
I hear the colors bursting onward in the parade.
A peace comes over me.
It is well with my soul at
the end of a wonderful day.
4. Context: I read a lot of books this summer, one of them A Severe Mercy. It was the second read. I had a lot of faith conversations with a good friend who roomed with me and goes to my school, he is also my counterpart in pretty much every play at Jewell and show at Six Flags. This poem was about him and others in my life struggling to find genuine faith in a sea of false belief and poor example. What does it take to set someone on fire for God if they are only playing around in the smoke of curiosity or doubt? For Aaron.
What Mighty Wind
What Mighty Wind can stir an ember to flame?
What Spark makes Fires Glow?
How can I Burn for You?
What makes Smoke change to Blazing Glory?
Come Mighty Wind come.
And Wake the Pyre.
An accompanying prayer...
Dear Lord, teach me how to be used by you to inspire others to live for you, to be loved by you. Teach me how you alone can bring us alive. Make me burn for you. May the heat you fan inside me spread to others in Jesus name.
5. Context: Dealing with my own faith battles. Identity check all around. My views on relationships and romance ebbed and flowed. My concept of faith and my relationship with Christ leaped forward in the words of Kim Harris. I didn't want anything fairytale. Just raw and real. I love to live in stories. I am Theatre major.
Dreaming of Real
Do I want Strength or the appearance of ability?
Do I want Love or the idea of it?
Do I want dirty, rough Faith or the beautiful illusion of belief?
Do I want Loyalty to the King, or halfhearted allegiance?
Do I want Real or dreams, Truth or lies?
I want Real all across the board.
After all, the best stories are real, not stories for the sake of stories.
So find me Real.
I’m ready to be found.
If you are still reading this, you are a trooper and I give you a gold star! Either you are obligated to read this as a close friend and editor/ reviewer or you are freakin bored. I'm not that entertaining.... But good news, I'm almost done.
6. Context: I started freaking out about all the unknowns of life. Then I realized how I have a tendency to "complexify" just about everything. Even simple things like snails and fruit. I over think and over analyze. Thanks Billy Jewell!
Anyway some things are just irreducibly complex which in appearance makes them "simple." Things like God's sovereignty and love and gravity and stuff. So I picked some symbols to represent the attainable Truths and truths that life is full of. Most of it in nature and the Bible. These truths are our constants in a sea of unknown. They make it possible to live and have faith. God is real and so are His words. At least this is my personal firm belief.
Music of the Math
Dreaming of reality again aboard the good ship Babyl-on, I look out upon the fray.
It is dark and the waves rise and fall in bleak sea of variables.
This vessel, my constant, rides on despite weathered waters of why, where, who, how, what and when.
Through violent cresting blues of y, foaming whites of x, and black raging currents of z, we marvel at the mess, careening to conquer the conundrum while ignoring the simple music of the math.
It comes in softly like the glow of sun-kissed horizon.
Oh how steady this vessel, these waters, if we just listen to the music of the math.
The music cools clenched fists, melts the ears and eases the eyes. It turns them toward eastern anticipating skies.
None shall know what dawn may bring
But soft, I hear a Voice beneath the storm…
And through the gales
within my sails, His breath
will chart my path.
In light of Dawn,
the Darkness gone,
I hear the Music play.
With gentle sigh
I float on by
and vanish in the tune.
Last one fools...
7.Context: Sitting in an empty apartment remembering every show, every parade, every roller coaster (literal and figurative). Catharsis. Closure. Realizing how much I sweat performing everyday and how much a human body can sweat in St. Louis in July humidity performing in a fifty pound flight suit covered in $6,000 worth of lights...
It is finished.
A chapter closed.
The summer of 2009 but a glowing memory.
A sweat drenched summer...
Filled with laughter and lights, speed and heights.
Thanks for reading. So, you pretty much know my whole life now. I guess I'll go to bed or go eat something.
Looking forward to a brand new Fall. Lots in store and new waters to swim.
Thanks for the words all who inspired and contributed!
Dear God, thank you for your presence and persistence with me. Even though I ran at times and probably frustrated the snap out of you, thank you for this summer and for every word you gave. My turn. I give you this Fall and ask only that you would use me and lead me to be a blessing to others. Let me not forget the lessons I learned and un-learned. Ultimately Lord, just lead me to a child-like faith and a closer walk with Jesus. That is all that matters. Simple, real, honest faith in The One who is the only thing worth living this life. Let me stop over complicating things and living in my mind. Let me learn to listen. In Jesus name. Amen.