Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Now

"What happened?," I guess that's the usual response to situations that we did not expect. I didn't end up going to Rwanda, helping with two summer camps. My heart was spilt into it. Then my cup is empty.

Things change over time, its a strange thing to sink in. I guess, right now, I realize, I am where I need to be.

In all of this, I see God's work in my life. I couldn't be more blessed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm Going to Rwanda

It has been quite a hectic few weeks for me. Aside from working full time, and other miscellaneous side projects, I've also committed to a missions trip to Rwanda.

I've never been on an international missions trip before, moreover, we'll be doing ministry primarily with kids... something I'm not quite used to. The only few times I've been able to work with children have been the times in a former homeless ministry, Co-Project, sometimes our friends would bring their kids and I'd be able to play games and have fun with them.

Over there, twash!

A team of ten people, including myself, from my church First Evangelical Free Church Fullerton, are helping facilitate a camp for orphans in Rwanda.

Coming Back to Ministry

For the past year or so, I've been praying to God to provide and open a way for me to do ministry, somehow. Within the past five months of moving to Fullerton, God's really shown me that these opportunities really do exist, even locally. I've been able to share the gospel a few times with new friends, and I've been blessed with amazing friends who have also been ministering to me.

So now, just coming back to a very intentional time to do ministry, I find myself praying more and more for His heavenly provision in all that my team and I do. Its been a humbling experience, moreover a daunting one as our departure is approaching really quickly in mid July. I'm getting a grasp once again of the work needed to do ministry and the part of it that is utterly relying on God to do his work.

So as I sit here, thinking through all the things I need to do, I can't help but feel peace that everything will fall into place. I just need to do my part.


If you'd like to receive a support letter from me, please fill out this form: Support Me in Going to Rwanda Form.

I'm excited, elated, and enthralled about this, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wonder-found

Lately, I've been thinking about life and how things are. Then I digress and I think about the time as child I found that the the world was so wonderful. That each day could be a waking dream. The moments could unfold as my eyes would be wide open to discover something new. I miss the mystery of the world. I miss seeing many curious things for the first time.

I remember the times when my father would bring me to the park. I would play in the sandbox and look at all the bits and pieces fall as I poured it. I remember the first time I saw the little veins of a leaf and how they were translucent and turned yellow and red and brown. I remember the first time I saw the intricate lines on my hands and the patterns it has and how on each hand, they were not alike. It was amazing.

The world was wonderful. Playing in the park, making pretend with friends. The floor was lava. The cracks between tiles and the concrete sidewalks were lava as well. My brother and sisters and I were monster trucks (our shirts and pajamas filled with our pillows as we rolled over each other between our trundle beds). Playing with my brother's friend's toys; there was a war at hand, each little man, fighting to win and so many had died. Running around, being “it,” the one who made others “it.” Being so wise as a child to know that girls had cooties, and of course boys ruled.

I can imagine the world being such a large magnificent place. That my relationships were simple... school was play, my family was love and strangers were “strange,” and many things were unlike the other things... and I would spend my days in play... and sometimes in discipline.

I realize that nowadays that I long for those moments of wonder. I feel as though as I got older, as I learned more and more about the world, the world had become somewhat demystified and had lost its luster. The world had shrunk in a sense... the paint on the canvas I've so carefully rendered has faded and dulled.

Then time becomes something that just passes, the happy moments are mostly fleeting and I'm just waiting for fresh paint or a new canvas. That things are mostly complicated. That my intentions and motivations have changed so much as I grew. Then I feel cynical. I hold strongly to ideals so romantically, hoping that each one of them are still true. The disappointment of life is that there are moments when I realize that they sometimes aren't.

So I live and move and dwell. Now, I ask God to grant me some wonder. Because I'm a child at heart, wanting to be amazed. Then the light is brighter. Something happens... paint falls from the sky, the rain is a million prisms... my heart pounds. I travel and the world seems bigger than I could have ever imagined. I start seeing things for the first time again. I look back at the many painted canvases my memories are and the water has washed the dust and restores the faded colors. I find myself as a child again, humbled because I was wrong. The world continues to be wonderful.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week Went By

Last week... nothing happened. What I mean by that is, I was so busy. Actually, that's a major contradiction. Last week, I feel like nothing happened because I can't quite remember every moment that had elapsed. I feel like I've just come back from some trip, a little worn out but fine.

The week that had passed, I wasn't able to draw or create. I missed an opportunity I had created to visit a museum that I've been wanting to go to for a few weeks. It feels strange that a week has passed already and I'm a bit over half way through another week.

I guess tonight... should be a good night to recollect myself and pray.

In other news, I started writing a short story. I'll publish it in the projects when I feel a little more confident about that. I'm also thinking about sketching a little tonight after dinner. We'll see what happens next.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gathered Poetry

I've had a fascination for metaphors since I was a kid. I don't think things have changed much. I guess every now and again, I'll post a things here and there on this blog. It's not as though anyone really reads it. If you do... let me know what you think.

The following are gathered pieces of poetry that I wrote within the past year.

Untitled

Eyes are closed, you fall into a sweet slumber
dreams cascade, they fall away from me
You are the wind above me,
Gently you run your fingers through my hair,
I weep and sigh I could never lay here again.

Dreams they mostly haunt me,
Words I've only seen,
The sounds you leave they chime through trees
I can't recall the last time I saw those eyes- they'll be the death of me.


"For a Friend"

I am here with you right now
you're the focus of my mind,
I can imagine the light surrounding your eyes.

If you can be a single tear
I would not wipe you from my face;
I can hear your kind voice,
it embraces me,
it bends wind to find me.

When I read your words,
I hear you whisper.
I'm lost in this sentimental gaze,
for heart is for those who truly love,
we've loved.


Untitled

Feel the rushing wind on my skin,
the water runs down my cheek.
Heaven is coming down again,
washing my heart and my head.

I see the light, it pours,
peering through the clouds.
I feel the longing to be free.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blind Writing: Loneliness

I've wondered at times what it means to be lonely. There's a sense to which loneliness is a state of being without someone, at least relationally. I think that's the major consensus on what loneliness is. I'm not one who can just justify such longings; although I think that there's something to it. I don't think that God meant for man to be alone. One other thing that comes to mind for me is that when I read through Genesis, the only thing that wasn't good in the Garden was that it wasn't good for man to be alone.

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."

Genesis 2:18

I feel as though this is an intricate situation. I imagine a cold room. I understand the current state that it's cold. I just can't articulate it because there's nothing else to experience. But I'll feel it. I feel this shiver and clamor. I have goose pimples all over my arms and legs. I don't understand why my body would react to a state so familiar to it. But then, I notice something about me. I can see my breath. I understand that my insides are a different temperature and the cold does not resonate or radiate with who I am. Then heat comes... I am introduced to such a warmth that I long for it. I enjoy it's comforting presence.

Maybe loneliness to me is like the cold. That cold wouldn't be a concept that I would or could ever imagine without that heat. Maybe loneliness is most apparent to me because there's a solemn sound from the depths of me that tells me that I am alone... that I am cold. I guess for me right now, this is just a concept that I've been thinking through. An idea of what it means to be "alone." This could be quickly a discourse on what it means to be in a relationship, or what it means to not be in one, or be without one. I wonder if that's something that I really want to truly know. Right now as I sit here with eyes closed, heart and mind open... I don't feel alone. I don't feel this cold that has plagued me in the past. I've been through such despair and I know what it feels like to be alone. This sense of emptyness can become overwhelming.

But the truth is, cold always existed. I've felt a hole at some point in my life. I've felt a huge void in my chest. I don't know if there's any better way to articulate such emotion. In all that happens within me, of all the words that could resonate with that feeling, It would very much seem to fit that word "emptiness" is the right word. Just like it... I think that we're all empty. I think that as children we're filled with the love of our parents, or maybe lacking of it. When we get older, we realize what friends are and are able to describe situations and relationships and how we all just intertwine because of these relationships. But in the beginning, I guess, we're all just empty.

I'm not quite sure how everyone works. I can't generalize a huge thought as to what loneliness is for everyone.

In the time where I was contently lonely, I grew. I filled my time with studying art, drawing, designing, learning, doing... Later on, when I discovered that I was, lonely- I filled myself with the knowledge of my God who loves me. I think I'm at that point all over again. I'm contently lonely. It doesn't quite feel lonely where I am. I have great friends that understand me (...for the most part, I don't think I'm quite as articulate in thought in an unwritten life), I have a family who cares and loves me. I have a fulfilling job, moreover, I have a God who is there. He's here, He's eminent. He's apparent, He's faithful.

Now, I spend my days in this bliss that I'm here and getting a little more familiar with myself. Becoming more familiar with things other than the cold and loneliness. Knowing who I am right now and my relationship with God. Building relationships with such good friends. Being able to do the things that are a part of who I am and growing. Just growing... wondering what God will do in this space.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Sketch Project

Here's a project that I fear. It's the kind of project that I keep on saying I'd like to do or one that I'd love to fulfill. For some reason, I've never really pursued this. There were some false starts a few years ago, coming in and out of habits. What I realized is that ... it's that I fear myself in this.

I fear that I won't be able to do or finish. I fear I won't be able to deliver. But I realize something. It's something that I really need to grow out of... "Perfection"

Working in Liferay, designing, and hopefully innovating has led me to this point. This point that perfection isn't attainable. That perfection is only a point of utter tolerance for me as an artist. I've spoken with my lead about this, Nate (@natecavanaugh), and he's mentioned this idea twice to me:

"Every artist has one hundred thousand bad drawings in them, the sooner an artist is able to get them out, the sooner the artist is able to really produce something worthwhile."

I may be paraphrasing a bit here. I feel as though he's right. There really has got to be a point that as a being who is inclined to create, I need to keep creating. I need to start drawing. I need to draw without hesitation. I need to draw without intended perfection. Simply, I need to draw.

Old Man on Bus Stop 10-30-05

A sketch from 2005

I remember when I was young and learning how to draw. Learning how to see in a way I could render lines rather the illusion of depth. I learned about form and how I'm really seeing things in the presence of light. The whole process of learning involved many mistakes. Looking back, I feel as though as I got "better," I was less willing to make mistakes. As though making mistakes made me a bad artist. I feel as though pride had taken it's toll on me, and now, I'm humbled. Moreover, I'm humbled because I don't feel as though I would have the skill that I have today if not for God.

So, I'm committing to this... Starting with a drawing a week, or a few sketches here and there... I just need to start doing. I'll try to post progress or failure if any. The one thing I know from all this is that I'm negative one hundred thousand drawings away from being me.

Visit the Projects site for updates. I've already written a manifesto for this project. Let me know here or there what you think.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Great Marionette

I've been contemplating this thought that we're manipulated by art and design, and they seem to be everywhere. It's the language of our culture painted by the most apparent and unknown artists of our time. Because of them it's in the everyday things that we so commonly see. I feel as though we look through the lens of our nature and the promises and longings of our culture.

Growing up, I was unknowingly curious about such things. I didn't know anything about art or design. I didn't know anything about architecture, impressionism, post-modernism, or realism. All I knew was that these forms resounded with who I am. Art was something that I did, it was a part of who I am and what I'm able to create.

The distinction I found isn't that art and design are not mutually exclusive ideas, that art and design are merely ways that we're able to identify our world. I notice that when I see natural formed objects, I experience something. It could be a feeling mundane or ethereal, the matter is that there is a feeling. That there is an expression, that there is something intrinsically moving about it to me.

Art tends to be inclined to be an ends of it's own means, aesthetically in it's own way to be beautiful in itself. I think that the idea of something being or becoming art is that the ends-of-it's-own-means is it's value to the perciever. Simply put the value of art is the message it conveys to it's audience; however, the audience weighs it with such personal intentions or inclinations. At that moment, that value is subjective, hence, the "intrinsic" meaning of this art or design is dictated by one's experience.

So this manipulation that I speak of is that art and design are made with their own intentions. That these intentions are used by the artist or designer to convey emotions or ideas into our cognition; that maybe we could inherit or empathize with the ideas that they've presented.

My last thought is that the ultimate manipulation that the role of an artist and designer is to emulate beauty. I feel and think that when we do so dutifully such the form of beauty, we've only imitated an experience of a close form we've abstracted an insufficient but tolerable understanding of beauty.

The idea of the great marionnette is us who are utterly moved by man made things that he is hindered by the strings of misunderstood beauty.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blind Writing

Every now and again-- actually I should say, usually, I do a writing exercise which involves turning my laptop's screen completely off and just writing. I had an blog filled with this content. I write a concept down that I don't quite fully comprehend until after I had finished a piece. I feel comfortable with only a few of the things I write in this manner. And a few of these that I'm actually willing to share.

I call this process, "Blind Writing." This afternoon, I wrote something that I realize would be interesting to share... here it is:

I walk around the velvet room, not hearing an echo, or the voice of the one who loves me. My eyes start to weep of this unpredictable heart's unforgotten sorrow. I'm mindful of it. There's a sense to which there's no home for this heart. An endless romanticized living.

I am lost in heart, I am lost in thought. The cavalcades of the what could have been, rush to me like horses in war. Trampling the grass and breathing cold air. Then my flags waiver in the wind, a quiver of a bolt is what grazes my skin. I am losing. Whereas to not fall in love would have been a dream, but this dream is a war that I want to lose.

I become a prisoner to the army that followed. It's infringed on my very being, they tease me and withhold the reason for their reproach. They loot and plunder my very treasured heart. I am bound to be poor and destitute. I'm humbled by this force, and yet, as a man, I fight it. This is the war. This is the plight of the kingdom of broken voices.

You are the night that was inevitable. The sun rest, and you had shown yourself cold. I befriended the very notion of you, darkness. There were enough stars and candle light. I'm persuaded by such beauty. I've forgotten the battles we've had, I had lost memory of the prison, the torture.

I am in this velvet room, midnight blue is what you've shown me... you are midnight blue.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lately Music

I recently read an aquaintance's recent blog post about the music she's been listening to. I was reminded of my post earlier last year, "Sounds I've Been Listening To," and I thought it'd be a great idea to write about music once again.

When I think about music, it reminds me of food. I don't feel as though I can ever get away from music. There's sound all around me. It echoes in my ear. I'll hear the wind speak and the water drops. There's a rhythm there, I'll be familiar with it. When I'm without it, I feel as though life would be less experienced, in knowing there are these unseen forces that would compel me to feel alive.

In a sense, music to me is like food. I feed on it, I gnaw on it's meaning, the ideas it presents me. My relationship to it is as a means to an end, of enjoyment and enlightenment. Music is also quite communal, like food. We can prepare ingredients for sophisticated dishes, or the simplest feast. We can experience the food together. I know that we can do the same for music. We can participate in hymns and worship, or the most derelict of songs. The opportunity to be in community, and relationship with each other through both artistic forms, food and music, are ever so present in our day to day.

I feel as though I've lost myself in some thought again. It'd be a good time to re-focus on what I'd originally intended on writing of... these are the sounds that feed me.

La Liste de Musique

(Pardon the French, I felt it appropriate.)

Unlike my previous list, I want to keep my critique of the music brief and let the artists speak for themselves. These are the sounds I've been listening to lately (in no particular order):

The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers

Photo by: Andre Guerette

This band feels like a strange anomaly. Here are a few song suggestions:


Feist

Feist

Photo by: Portia

I think everyone knows Feist... right? I've been enjoying her latest album Metals recently.

  • How Come You Never Go There
  • The Bad in Each Other

Joe Pug

IMG_0037_1

Photo by Your's Truly... Aaron Delani

I have much to say about this particular artist, but I really want to let his music speak for itself. Look for:

  • Unsophisticated Heart
  • Hymn #35

If you visit his website, you may still be able to download his album/ep for free. It's worth it.


Preacher's Sons

Preachers Sons

They really need to do music full time.

I've seen them live since their full album release. I'm really excited to hear their second album/ep coming soon.


Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin'

Twee pop... and it makes me happy.


What are the sounds you've been listening to?

Do, Make, Live

I'm compelled to make. To create, to do, to be, in a place where I can design and build things that make life... better. Right now, I have no big idea of how things will work out or what I'll do. I have a few projects in mind that feel quite daunting. There's something about the idea of making something that gives me a feeling of life.

I like that feeling. I feel blessed to come in everyday to work and have a direction as to what I'm helping build. Nowadays, I feel like building my own-- I dont know, outside of work. So, this has been my ordeal for the past few months. I just started doing... I lead with my body, and my mind, redesigning my whole website and the different parts of it. It's still a work in progress, but, my dear, it's come a long way. I'm proud of my work. I test the design, over and over again. I feel quite fulfilled because of it.

So, I wonder, what's next. I have a few things in mind. I don't know if they'll be successful. I don't know if I'm going to be able to execute the other projects in the coming months with the diligence that I had to produce this website. I guess I'm just going to have to do and figure things out later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#SOPA

SOPA Would Do This

Dearest Friends,

I love the internet. I love the kind of freedom I people have to be able to share ideas. I love the fact that it's created and cultured a whole community of thinkers, makers, doers. I love the idea that it breaks down cultural walls and through this it connects different cultures. There's this air of freedom that we all inherit because of an open web.

I wanted to write you, to let you know that there's something happening with our mostly open web. Congress is trying to pass a bill that could potentially censor our open web.

Call to Action:

We need to do something. We need to say, act, and really do.

Please visit: http://sopastrike.com/strike/

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheers, There's a New Year

Where is this thought. I know I had it right here. I placed it's most apparent reflection on the top of my mind. This was me right now. This a part of my time perceived. This was the likeness of my self. The faults, a feeble frail, flatulent, feverish, facade of a frolicking gray matter. I'm lost in incomprehensible thought.

I think of growing. Whether or not my past actions will be judged by another. I think I'm growing. I think of the past year and all the unfortunate things that could happen to me, I feel as though I've been through the wilderness and back. The grass was there at times to graze on and live by. I kept moving, seemingly a graveyard appeared by me and the ghost that had haunted me is the piercing thought of what could have been. I spent my year there and the daunting weight of all that had been was the pulse of my heart.

There are a few things I can surmise from the past year. It's overwhelming to think of at times and so easy for me to deny. But I've grown to know who I am in such melancholic events. In such tiresome, low, and sharp rhythmic blues. I've come to know the faithfulness of God through friends and my family. It's become apparent to me that I'm jaded and changed.

There's hope here though. I feel it. This year... this year is good. This year has been amazing. Each day unfolds with such surprising life. My soul feeds on it. I long for it, there's a light there. I wonder at times if I can ever be the good parts of who I was. I wonder if I'll do the right things.

Cheers, there's hope in this new year.