The Cross

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Four years ago, I would have never imagined to be wearing a cross upon my neck. It’s the kind of symbol that represents everything I so vehemently protested against – organized religion, faith, theism, the concept of a benevolent God in such a malevolent world. All in the name of cause. Like an angst-filled teenager, my innocent mind sought to admonish and defame all who supported something so juvenile and impractical. Hatred, like most emotions, starts with a bang and diminishes over time – especially if there’s no real reason for the hatred to come about. It was a trend. It was a story that needed to be told.

The vocal minority, the so-called “teenage scientists,” would hop on the first anti-faith scientific fact out there and spread it, like wildfire, to anyone willing or unwilling to hear. The quest started as a vendetta against some distant establishment, something I didn’t fully understand and still don’t completely get today. But it was on a living room computer during my freshman year of high school where thoughts of rebellion bloomed like brain-fossils waiting to be discovered and placed in my mind’s museum of knowledge and other truths, facts like “God isn’t real,” “Nothing in the Bible can be proven,” or whatever. I had had enough of “faith” in my life; my parents weren’t especially religious; my grandparents were faithful, but aren’t they all? My naivety carried into my reckless and vindictive social media posts.

Imagine hearing “the truth” from a fourteen-year-old’s mouth. People often depicted me as either arrogant, ignorant, or something equally terrible in between. Know-it-all. Obnoxiously, I thought I had the whole theism vs. atheism thing down pat. Like the debate the adult’s were having was meaningless, trite, irresponsible, and immature. What did they know? How immature of me!

Once, in the 5th grade, I sat in Language Arts class during mandatory book-reading time. I pulled out our family’s version of the Bible, King James edition. At the time, I remember imagining that my teacher, Mr. Dwyer, and my fellow students would look upon my sophisticated reading material and feel like I’m a serious bookworm. Feeling smart was one of my top priorities as a bullied and ridiculed young child. But if anything, my sophisticated choice backfired, as Mr. Dwyer informed me that I would need to bring in another book to read for class tomorrow, as the Bible “wasn’t what he was looking for.” What’s that supposed to mean? It planted seeds of distrust toward faith which would later bloom.

I remember visiting our local church for confession when it was necessary. The idea of repenting every one of my sin’s to a supposedly-non-judgmental individual in the role of a priest, or deacon, made little sense to me. And, even worse, the gleam of “God knowing everything you do, and all of your sins regardless” made this mandatory act appear much more superficial, and meaningless, and awkward. That’s why I hardly told the whole truth to the priest I spoke to: I would say, “I said vulgar words in front of my parents before dinner last Sunday night,” or something easily repent-able. Nothing too extreme, like denouncing the concept of God, the validity of the Bible, and such, as I actually was doing at the time.

I wasn’t the only one. Many posters on the internet, from various websites and forums shared my previous sentiments, and probably still share them to this day. It’s the culture that the internet can have on an impressionable, attention-seeking, young child with untrustworthy friends and parents, who found a way to relish in every small and disappointing mistake I made along the way to this age. And I don’t claim to be the most unique individual in the world for having undergone a long phase of unwarranted hatred, turned gradually into a distant appreciation for the religion I so despised.

The point of this story is to inform you, whoever ends up reading this, that all things can change. I now have an incredible appreciation for all faiths, and those who believe in them. It’s a wonderfully indescribable thing. And I disagree with those who go out of their way to destroy the one core belief that their human psyche may be founded on: a faith, a chance. In a world of so much hatred, we need love.

In a month’s time, I discovered the fragility of man. I looked into the face of my dying grandfather and couldn’t control my tears, like raindrops after a sunset. He wanted me to wear his cross, something he never took off since he got it, as a Born-Again Christian. He wanted me to have it. It was one of his wishes for me. For the past month, he has undergone a list of terrible procedures and surgeries to get him on the right track. But after every procedure, he looked worse. More uncomfortable. Less at peace.

That’s why my family made an incredibly unbelievable effort to ensure that my grandfather, the great one, would pass in peace. He deserved a peaceful, calm end to such a long period of medical trauma and misgivings. It was a fitting end. He needed peace.

And today, after he passed away in Yale-New Haven Hospital, I visited my grandmother and received the cross he had worn so many times before.

Today, after years of distrust, I vow to never remove this cross from my neck. Today, I vow to carry around an image I deemed ridiculous years prior to work, school, home, and everywhere in between.

I love you pop. This one’s for you. And I will never break my promise.

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Oversoul

Collectively we bundle into one thought, one mind, one soul

I would stand with the oversoul against the tides for hours

Meditating on lost words others must know in past lives

Before I lived on the earth the oversoul was here, one being

And it needs no introduction, beyond its broad, specific existence

A zealous blanket of ethereal material wraps around us,

Amounts our ideas into a bright lightbulb of potential alacrity,

And traces those thoughts to a brilliant tower looming beyond.

The oversoul demands inescapable obedience, wondrous

Mountaintops where it rests serenely remind us our service’s price.

Transcend our grievances and hatreds to a greater good,

The oversoul monitors like a flashlight on a blank page

Which fills with detail over time, as creation visualizes,

For us, I know it true, the oversoul is here for me and you

It wakes me in the morning when I wish to escape nightmarish thoughts

It wakes me at night when I still have work to complete.

It wakes me in the afternoon when I’m drifting to a different plane.

Springs me to life and fills me with unparalleled joy when

I observe the world from a shared, equally fantastic distance.

Eagle Eyes

eagle-eye

 

Omniscient eyes like those of eagles

judging glances and backward stares

mirroring like eagles would in the air

energetic and serene quickness, alacrity

with intelligence, hubris and humility,

modesty in the multicolored feathers soaring

like airplanes at night, under the cover of

Dusk and the darkness associated with it.

 

Words flung across sidewalks to loiterers

Relaxing with their backs arched sideways

in lazy posesĀ mimickingĀ each other

praising the gods of technology and machinery

for their kindness and grace for granting the

undeserving the power of omniscience,

the eyes of an eagle, controlling the natural

like a tailor to a spool of cloth.

V: Silence

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I can feel the Silence, the Silence from a distance,

The sound of a word misunderstood and

Never to be read again.

The sound of words without pages, dancing

In freedom, liberty and freedom underground;

It’s calming and pure and gracious

Down in the dryness of nature inhaling

Deeply the unfiltered air of dirt and shelter.

The sound of a storm that will never cease and

The Silence that accompanies it, so

Devoted to the cause and the law and the law and the Lawless.

The sound of the hammer crashing down

And breaking the ruins of heroism, forging

Blades to cut through crime and whatever is

Left for the heroes to fend off in Silence.

The sound of a merciless army stuck in

Rewind and time immemorial forgetting it

Ever even existed to begin with, when the

Law the law the law the law the furious law struck first.

The sound of a failed experiment, the

Blood of a thousand warriors seeping out

Into the streets, into the churches, into the

Monuments that they once tried to

Tear from their high seats,

The plans of science they tried to stop.

In plain sight to the eyes of a stranger rests a

Bloody mess seeking redemption

And finding only oblivion, somewhere

Between heaven and hell, but not

Purgatory or perdition or the underworld,

Somewhere else where the heroes

Are renowned, respected, and loved

For their sacrifices to the Silence.

To the Silence…

To the Silence…

A tear is nothing to a knight in armor,

A man a hero a Lawless man,

But to a simple man, a tear is known

For supporting and appreciating the

Silence

Of millions of dead Lawless fighters on the

Eve of their birthdays, of their wives’ and

Husbands’ birthdays when their families

Would have loved to have seen them,

The last time they would have seen them

Without having Fury Fury Fury Fury but now

Silence

For the billions left to suffer in a world

Without sacrifice, without rebellion or

Death or death or death or Lawless men and only

Silence

For the billions left to suffer in undeath,

Brought into law and supported by law

And still a law and forever a law

While no one’s there to say a word except

To plead for Mercy, for Mercy, for Mercy,

Silence

To the trillions of bodies sunken in the soil

Seeking solace among each other

Over time, over all the time of the world

Left to rot and sink further down to the core in

Silence

And the next billion birthed and stuck in

Endless cycles, endless immortalities, and

Having no choice but to take the injection and to

Cry for days through unimaginable pain, and

Unimaginable consequences from living without

An expiration date, a death notice, an obituary, or a choice

Silence

And the candle-light flickers still for the dead ones,

But shrouds and lathers itself in dirt and soil and

Buries the remainder of its flame, delivering it to

The earth it once loved and still loves today,

It makes itself nice and cozy among the chaos

And closes its eyes while dreaming of eternal

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.