39 Thoughts For my 39th Birthday

Today, October 25, 2016, I've made thirty-nine revolutions around the sun. And so, this being my birthday, the day on which I can say or do whatever I want within the meets and bounds of faith and good judgment, I'd like to offer a few thoughts. I won't presume to call these words of wisdom. Instead, I'll just offer them such as they are--straight, no chaser.

  1. It's election season, and so, I've been reading scripture with a different lens. This morning, I read Paul this way: [tweetherder]Many live as friends of foolish politics. Their destiny is disappointment, their god is their vote, and their glory is in their shame.[/tweetherder]
  2. I've found the secret of contentment in success. If it's the saints who find contentment in humiliation or in want, I reckon I ain't no saint.
  3. I've been bone dry for three years, have not had a drop of alcohol outside of the communion cup, which gets a sacramental pass. There are days, though, when I'm more drunk on hate (envy, greed, bitterness and the like) than I've ever been on whiskey. Sobriety isn't about answering the binary question "to drink or not to drink?"
  4. Blessed are the children, for they know the simplicity of wonder, which is the defining quality of true sobriety.
  5. Children are. Adults do. Herein lies a world of difference.
  6. So many of us remember being the burden-child, the complicating factor in the lives of so many adults. We've internalized things we shouldn't have. We've cuddled guilt like a fuzzy blankie. We were only kids.
  7. We were only kids.
  8. We were only kids.
  9. Let's rewrite our histories true.
  10. I used to think I could change the world. I used to think, think, think, think. Now I'm just hoping to escape this whole shebang clean.
  11. Men are too afraid to say they love another woman, as if love is sexual, or objectifying, or creepy per se. This is a travesty.
  12. Men are too afraid to say they love another man, as if it's overly sentimental, or weak, or pathetic. This is why the world goes to war.
  13. These days, men are prone to loving only inanimate things, things that don't threaten to make them feel. This is what it means to be machine.
  14. These are the things you can confess to a friend: I'm depressed; my eyes tend to wander; I want nothing more than to find the bottom of a whiskey bottle; or, I've developed a fondness for bro-country music. If you confess these things (or the like) to the closest folks in your life, they aren't friends. Chew on that.
  15. Loneliness and faith are not mutually exclusive things.
  16. Doubt and faith are not mutually exclusive things.
  17. In autumn, the trees shed their patina and copper up nice and pretty. It's nature's yearly polishing, and I couldn't love anything more.
  18. As much as I love autumn, the first frost always unsettles me.
  19. Eat an apple. It's good for you.
  20. Eat a piece of pecan pie. It's good for you in a different sort of way.
  21. Drink in moderation if you can. Avoid it altogether, but only if you must. I must.
  22. The elements of faith are salty, unleavened, and tannic. You can parse this statement however you wish, but I've found it to be truer with every passing year.
  23. Go back to the elements.
  24. Go back to the elements.
  25. Go back to the elements.
  26. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
  27. Etcetera, etcetera.
  28. There is no incense as sweet as the love of a woman, that is, except for the love of God.
  29. We are all loved by someone, somewhere. And by this, I don't mean God. Who is that person?
  30. [tweetherder]If Earth is our mother and time is our father, God is the grandaddy of both.[/tweetherder]
  31. If you do not have time for beauty, you do not have time for God.
  32. If you do not have time for nature, you do not have time for God.
  33. If you do not have time for music, you do not have time for God.
  34. If you do not have time to build the faith of your children, you have pulled yourself from the soil of the past, present, and eternity.
  35. If I'm prone to use any four letter word, let it be love.
  36. Pardon me when I use four letter words without love. I'm still learning to transcend my skin cells.
  37. Play in the dirt.
  38. Feel the music in your heart.
  39. Live until you die, and then live some more.

These are my thoughts, such as they are on my 39th birthday. Oh, and just this one last thought: peace, peace, peace; in all things peace.

***TINY LETTER***

Thanks for stopping in! If you enjoy reading here, sign up to receive my bi-monthly Tiny Letter. If you sign up, you'll receive my free eBook, Coming Clean|Austin OuttakesAnd, if you enjoy this website or my Tiny Letter, consider signing up as a monthly content supporter.

powered by TinyLetter

On the Occasion of Mike's 40th Birthday (or "Gather You Fires")

There are band of good people that I know, and Mike Rusch is the chief among them. I've penned this for him, and them, on the occasion of his 40th birthday.I promised poetry this year. Here's one of the first installments.

*****

There are kin-lights recognizable in the best brothers-- the spark of saints' names spoken, wive's held like own Aphrodites, Somali-starred stories, the memory of the frailest soul lost, the mention of village where daughters, nieces, neighbors, sisters were born into an acquired taste for air, for our wounded lungs, for the notion of forgotten, remembered.

Gather you fires-- awake in the collective-- rare though it gathers, short though it's lived, small though it seems; We are.

Lights are again and again, like the ashes of last year's Lent, and next year's, the dogged birthmarking of our natures, best and worst, together.

Gather you fires best-- awake in the collective-- in the feasting, in communion wine, and there find that we together are more than ashes. We are, a briliant, unforgettable constellation.

*For regular updates, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page.