It is not eerie to be in a room, but it is somehow eerie to imagine a room in your mind with no inhabitants. On what plane does the room in your mind exist? How can you picture the way it lies suspended in memory? Why is the real lighting normal, but the lighting in your mind perturbing? In death, is that realm the one you explore forever? The realm in the mind, which closes in upon you from all sides like static, like darkness? There is no sunlight in your mind. There is no fresh air, no tactile sensation, every unsettling detail expanding infinitely in magnitude. It’s as if you have always existed — only stored in a corner of that memory space, preceding your birth, preceding the birth of time. You found physical form outside of it, and when you lose your physical form, that space is where you will return.

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provoke

you want to envision the whole world
in the brief span of time that it gives you.
to be thrown from the heavens unfurled
cut away from indifference and seen through.
you are translucent illuminating pain
shot through to the hollow and aching
space between your temples. force the rain.
swallow whole every moment that time has taken
away from you. if others exist they are yours
they are yours because God granted you vision.
burn away death with feeling and fire and roar
up into the holy light from which you were risen.
you never asked for this but you’ll take it
whole and wanton and raw and never again
will you allow anything to cheat your spirit.

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

I thought you knew that God couldn’t be pinned down. You’ve said so many times that his nature is incomprehensible. Why do you tell me we can’t know the concrete truth, but then, with the same tongue and absolute certainty, tell me I’m wrong? There is no absolute truth. I know you think that’s a logical fallacy. But you ignore every logical fallacy I bring to your attention, and you know why, don’t you? You know it’s because there is no absolute reality. You know that, because even the color red changes from human to human. Even eyesight, depth perception, hearing. I’m deaf in my left ear. I can’t hear the birds chirping in the morning. My best friend is schizophrenic. She texted me the other night about the way the voices seemed different than they usually do — they were alarming when usually they’re calm. How come you hate vanilla ice cream when I love it? How come I care so much about hell when you don’t? How come I’m wrong when I say that truth is relative?

Vanilla ice cream is delicious. There is no absolute truth.

Everything about life is subjective. That is the nature of reality and the beauty of it, too. God will not damn me to hell because he did not reveal the same truth to me that he did to you. God is Abba, Father, Mother, Protector of his/her children in life and in death. He knows where our differences lie. He knows that fear will never be solid ground for my faith, even if it is for you. We aren’t the same.

You know that God is the God of second chances. You know the parable of the Farmer and his workers. He hired men to tend his vineyard, and they worked all day starting in the morning. When afternoon came, he found more men waiting for work, and when he asked them why they were waiting, they said nobody had hired them. So he hired them, and they worked until the end of the day. When the Farmer paid all of the workers the same, the ones who had worked from morning complained. “‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.'”
(Matthew 20)

God is in control. He will save some of us now and some of us at the mouth of Death. We will never be penalized for waiting.

I’m waiting for God. All of the faithless are waiting. We cannot be cast into hell for the knowledge that is withheld from us.

The road to truth is dim and slippery and every human being is given a separate route.

Peace feels temporary, like falling asleep in the car.

I know the answer is waiting for me just out of reach.
It’s nestled comfortably on the tip of my tongue, sleeping restlessly.
The answer to what? I’m not sure I can tell you. Just the answer. The solution.
Whatever wind or breath of life that grants me insight has refused
to give me the final solution. The formula.
What beautiful aching I feel in every silence. What savage loss of hope
seizes hold of me when I look at a glorious sunset or sometimes
a perfectly-formed cloud, traced by the sun with rich yellow as if with
a freshly sharpened colored pencil.
Today I told my mom, it’s not that I’m ungrateful, or that I’m
rejecting what God has given me. Dad thinks so because Christianity
feels right to him. It doesn’t feel right to me. I feel, I know,
there’s something that I haven’t found.
I’m not ungrateful, but I’m impatient. I feel dread because
my time is always running out and I don’t know anything.
Life really feels like a test on the chapter of a book I haven’t read.
Can I be held accountable for that? For not knowing despite my
desperate and urgent search? I’m waiting for the answer, but
it hasn’t revealed itself to me. I guess that means I have to find it
by myself, dig through my thoughts until I find whatever it is
I’m even supposed to be looking for.

God is the one who sucks the air from my lungs.

The present hurtles me forward
but when I close my eyes, I
fall backwards,
and I can hear the past and
the future rush up behind me to
scream in my ear.

I can feel the simulation of my life
turning slowly toward reality.
Eternity never looks at me twice,
but I glance at it again and again,
obsessively, like I glance
at the clock during tests.

Is this why we’re mortal?
Because the disappearance of time
outlines us like a flash of double exposure?
Because being hurtled toward death
is what gives us the weightless sensation
like the last few seconds of Space Mountain?

I have chills, like time is
licking the back of my neck
in San Francisco wind.

I’m 18. I don’t want
to cast bets against my mind
over my remaining days,
but it’s what makes everything so
beautifully fragile. Without cold water
to wake me up, would peaceful sleep
feel so delicious?
And without eternal sleep,
would I fight so hard to stay awake?
I’m afraid this will get worse with age,
but I’m also afraid it’ll go away.

Evanescence (I’m not talking about the band)

Sometimes I hate reading because I know I can’t remember every beautiful thing I’ve ever read. The dredges of humanity produce such beautiful things, and I despise the linear process of my mind because there’s no way to comprehend all of it at once. Enlightenment comes one thought at a time. Realizations are transient, and I love poetry but reading it is so ridiculously sad. Like falling in love with someone in a dream. I write things down, but there’s only so many places to write them, and what if I even forget where I put them? I used to keep a detailed daily journal, and it stressed me out because I couldn’t write everything down. Even if I could muster up every scrap of memory accumulated throughout the day, there would be things I’d forgotten that wouldn’t reach paper and would thereby cease to exist. I don’t keep a daily journal anymore, so I don’t stress so much. Except for those moments when I realize how much I’ve neglected to write about that I’ll never remember. Those memories just slip away. Does the present even matter if you won’t ever recall it? Is what’s happening right now worth anything if it’s impermanent? When I read a really great poem that really speaks to me, there’s a lingering panic like static in the background. I might forget about this poem tomorrow. Maybe only an hour from now. What seems life-changing right now won’t mean anything soon enough. My life rolls on and overlaps and folds into itself like frothing little waves on the shore. I remember a poem. Maybe two. A couple of books that are just as great as all the other great books I’ve read that I don’t ever think about. I stress because I’m afraid I won’t move anyone with what I make, but even if I do, it’ll only be for one minute, and that minute will be trampled over and left behind. By the time the earth crumbles and the sun over-saturates, every dent I made in humanity will be rendered so insignificant I might just as well never read any heartfelt poems at all.

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I have gotten this far

alive.

That’s what I think about

when it jolts me from sleep into panic.

There are moments of perfect

existential clarity,

like a crisp image

of my time stream,

and I wonder what part of me

far back behind my brain

can see.

It’s not my eyes.

It’s something else.

Soft circular clicking.

It says that this

is how I’m meant to be.

It says that death

traps every moment

in resin.

It says that my life

is white paint

on black paper.

It projects the world into

some invisible cortex

of my mind.

It says that every worldly problem

is meaningless.

All that really exists

are the car headlights

filtering through my window shades.

The stars stuck

with tacky putty

to my ceiling.

The barcode of artificial light

beneath my door.

It’s the guiding arms

when I first learned to swim

that gripped my hips and launched me

towards the other side.

It shows me that

the universe will take me

where I’m meant

to go.