Thursday, December 2, 2010

Old Poetry

So, i found this random piece of paper on my bedroom floor (not at all unusual, mind you) and it had the following "poem" hastily scribbled on the back of it. Thought it might be worth sharing. Can't say i remember the context surrounding my writing it, but interesting to see where i've come from, perhaps.

when the night is at its darkest
and i feel so painfully empty
so lost
so forsaken
when i want nothing more than to be held
when i can do naught but cry in bitter, emasculated, self-loathing
(will you show me the final count of those shed tears, in the end?)
it is during such times that i say:
"i am abandoned,
God has never forsaken me."
what can i say to those who despair?
to those who mourn?
to those who fear the dark?
"Never will I leave you,
nor will I forsake you."

(To give credit where it's due the line "i am abandoned, God has never forsaken me." is lovingly borrowed from the Children 18:3 song "Abandoned")

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός
ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς
i am broken before You
Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός
ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς
fill me with your radiant light
Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος
ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς
let Your light shine
through the cracks in my heart

Κύριε ἐλέησον, Χριστὲ ἐλέησον, Κύριε ἐλέησον
(Holy Holy Holy)

may Your justice swell up from the ocean deep
may Your justice pour down from the heavenly heights

forgive my dispassion
forgive my apathy
forgive my sloth

ἐλέησον, ἐλέησον, ἐλέησον

forgive me as i forgive others
have mercy on me as i have mercy on others


Friday, August 27, 2010

Nothing significant for today.

i've decided to try and be a bit more intentional about posting here more regularly and i'm very uninspired today so my thoughts are especially abstract and scattered.

Today marks 3 months since i quit smoking. There are many times when i regret having done that. Stupid, i know, but such is the nature of addiction, i suppose.

i recently rediscovered the awesomeness that is Tuvan throat-singing. It happened like this: My brother Matthew saw a strange looking CD for sale at a library in Edmonton and lent it to me. The CD was Ilmatar by a Finnish folk band called Värttinä. It was so enjoyable i decided to look into some of their other music. The album of theirs that came out shortly before Ilmatar, titled Vihma featured some Tuvan throat singing, which pushed me to watch the documentary Genghis Blues, which is about American blues musician Paul Pena and his discovery of Tuvan throat-singing and his subsequent journey to Tuva to particpate in the national throat-singing competition. That led me to purchase the album Back Tuva Future by Kongar-ol Ondar (one of the most talented throat-singers in Tuva). Fantastic album.

Also, i've been revisiting my childhood by watching a few of my favourite shows from those days: Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, and Gargoyles. Good times.

Albums i'm big into right now: All the above mentioned albums, along with Maya by MIA, and Rain's 'A Comin' by Children 18:3.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Airing Out The Closet, and Laying That Skeleton To Rest

So, it's been about nine months since my last post, and i've been encouraged by a very close friend of mine to take up blogging again. What better way to return than by opening up heart in a very uncomfortable way and letting the internet in on one of my most tightly held secrets?

i am a survivor of sexual abuse.

It's amazing that such a small statement can hold so much chaos and pain wrapped up in it. It's amazing that such a small act has had such a deep and detrimental effect on me for the majority of my life. For about 17 years i kept that to myself. For that amount of time i unwittingly let that event define so much of my identity.

My insecurity and tendency towards self-disdain/loathing, my horrible body image, my fear of betrayel/rejection, my difficulty allowing people to get to know me or get close to me, a vague and general sense of shame...

The list goes on.

It happened when i was pretty young, but my childhood memories are pretty jumbled, so the chronology has been lost, i would have been no older than 7 or as young as 4 years old. Like i said above, i've had a long time to hold on to that hurt.

Living through your schooling years with an inability to trust people doesn't make it very easy to develop deep, and lasting relationships. That's something i'm still trying to figure out.

So, i don't really know what else to write about this, so i think i'll end here for today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

O Death, where is thy sting?

i have experienced two significant deaths this year, both of which were sudden and tragic. The first was the wonderful Ruth Oomen. Ruth was one of the organizers of Eastman Youth Choir, a regional choir i was in during my high school years. She was taken in a car accident last winter, and though i hadn't really been in touch with her anymore, it still hit me pretty hard. She was one of the main reasons i took part in most of the choir stuff i did back then. Then in May, Andrew Spoljar took his own life in the midst of a psychological break. Andrew was the brother of my good friend Amy Komus, and he had recently "joined" our little house church. i wasn't as close to Andrew as i wish i could have been, but his passing also shook me.

What hit me harder than both of those tragedies, was when my mother was diagnosed with cancer in August. While it seems that there's nothing to worry about, they're confident that the hysterectomy got all the cancer out of her, i'm still all emotional about it. The thought of my mom having to receive radiation treatment can get me crying no matter how great my mood is at the time. Why is this?

The loss of an illusion can be more painful than we often think. i haven't lost my mother. i have, however, lost the unconscious notion that my mother is immortal. That scares me, i don't ever want to have to face that loss, but it is inevitable. OK, you must now be thinking "Goodness' sake, this guy is morbid!" Well, that is true, but that's not the point here.

Now that i have come to terms with this loss of illusion, what do i do about it? Or, rather, what should i do about it? There's that bit of pop-wisdom "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." While entirely cliché, it's also entirely true at times. The typical response to a near-loss of a loved one is to suddenly have this renewed value and appreciation for them. At least that's the Hollywood response, and really, should be the typical response for anyone who has an actual soul.

i, however, have just continued on, in my callous way, to take my mother for granted most of the time. "Brenden! Where is your heart and soul?" you ask, incredulously, "you're normally such a sensitive and caring person!" (now that bit i'm really not sure about, it could be sarcastic or not...) i honestly have no easy answer to that question. There is no one that i love as much as my mother, and i have doubts that anyone will usurp that spot in my heart that she holds, but at the same time she is the person i take for granted the most. Where does this painful dichotomy come from? Why is it that we as a species have a tendency to hurt those who we love the most?

i probably just need to grow up a bit, i know my idealism tends to colour everything i see. Perhaps, it's not as bad as i'm making it out to be, since i do have a slight tendency to be hard on myself (as well as a slight tendency for understatement).

Well, now that i'm just rambling, and seem to have forgotten the reason for starting this post, i will sign off.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Here we are at the end of an era.


For the past 7 years that word has evoked very strong emotions within me. It is 5 days of great music (and not-so-great music), unhealthy food, poor sleeping conditions, people from  just about every subculture (goths, gutter punks, anarcho-primitivists, hippies, metal heads, tough guys, folksy types, etc. etc.), embarrassingly cheesy slogans, love, laughter, and all-around good times.

This year was different for me. I had a lot of fun, for sure. I saw all the bands i had hoped to see, and discovered some new ones as well. However, over the last two days of the event i saw two bands in total, and spent the majority of my time by myself (mostly by my own choice). The sad part is that i found it all so overwhelming this year.

I didn't enjoy myself nearly as much as i have in the past. It could be due to a number of things that were on my mind that just wouldn't go away, or other factors that were influencing my mood in general.

So, it's looking like 5 is it for me. Don't get me wrong, i did have a great time for the most part, and i don't in any way regret having gone this year, i just doubt i'll go back.

That is, unless i get a rocker girlfriend who would want to go with me...

Monday, May 11, 2009

To Andrew

Andrew, i know we never really hung out or spent much time together, but trust me dude, i regret that a lot.

i really was looking forward to getting to know you more. The little i saw of you personally was all good. You struck me as a really solid, caring, guy. The way you interacted with Nilaya was inspiring at times, and your paintings really showed a sensitivity that was not as readily visible. It was really good to hear that you had decided to follow Christ, and it was great to have you over at Little Flowers. i'm sorry i missed your wrestling match, i really did want to go to it, honestly. Only as i write this is it starting to sink in that i won't see you again in this life. That realization leaves me feeling a hollow pain in my chest. i am at a loss for words, the feelings i have are overwhelming.

i don't know what to say. This can hardly be called a tribute, as much as i wish i had the words to make it one.

You were and are loved, and are sorely missed.

R.I.P. Andrew Spoljar. February 28, 1983 - May 10, 2009