I rarely remember my dreams, so it was bizarre that I had such a vivid one while in Iceland (last November), of all places. Perhaps it was the crisp air, or the crystal water, or the fresh music. Perhaps it was because I was surrounded by the raw elements of the earth or immersed in the minerals of the Blue Lagoon. Or perhaps it was simply the trickery of the huldufólk. Whatever or whoever it was, something triggered both my spirit and my imagination.
*insert dream-scape jingle and filter*
It began on a tour bus, which made sense since these things were everywhere in Iceland. My bus stopped in front of a very Asian-esque, very cutesy shopping mall. Like, imagine a Sanrio-themed mall. Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, etc. everywhere. Every Asian kid's dream...and apparently my dream too.
Our tour guide, a Korean woman in a dress suit and with her hair in a tight bun, welcomed us to the mall. Why a Korean woman? Good question.
Though the program is not unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 12 Step Program is a testament to the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, as seen in the lives of those in this series published by Mormon Channel (embedded below). People can conquer and change through Christ.
The wonderful thing about the program is that it is not only applicable to those with addiction. Anyone wanting to change for the better through the atonement of Christ will find this program rewarding. It will only build us up as individuals and bring us closer to our Savior.
Through the healing, enabling, redeeming power of atonement in my own life, I've found peace in pain, forgiveness in sin, and so much more goodness. I invite anyone who may be struggling with anything—addiction, sorrow, sin, loneliness, pain—to turn to Christ, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He will bear the burdens of life with us.
Written 5/29/14 for Neighborhood Watch, local podcast
So I was asked to write a thing for this thing, but the thing is, I haven't written in a while because
it takes feeling and emotion for me to write and I haven't felt in so long. I've found each waking
moment is filled with an emptiness that frightens me. Each motion I go through is void of
emotion. Every tear I shed has no reason. And when I meet smiling faces in the hallway, part of
me just wants to walk past them with my chin resting on my chest.
But it’s easier to meet them with a smile. And that’s why you don’t know.
You don’t know that every now and then, when I'm pensive, I take a solitary midnight bike ride
to a parking lot with street lamps burnt out like me. Sometimes the asphalt hurts to sit
on. Sometime a drunk stumbles across. But here, no one sees me. No different than during the
day anyway, and it's how I like it too. No one is around to hear my attempts to feel, my dry sobs
and my desperate pleadings with God.
But there's another façade, that I don't need Him and that I don’t need you. In reality, I wouldn't
mind if someone sat with me and listened. Not necessarily just to me. I wouldn't mind if
someone sat and listened to the rustling of the summer wind through the leaves of the trees above
me, above us, unchained from time and obligations. There is a beauty in silence and in removing
yourself from the world.
In that silence, I wouldn't mind if you asked me how I was and waited on me until I told you how
far I am from "doing good." I wish you'd do that instead of run off with your studies, your pills,
your work, or your lovers. Maybe you'd know how much I am also struggling if you stayed up
with me a while.
They say that man is not meant to be alone. But here I am, in the middle of an empty lot. Even
the drunk has his alcohol to warm his heart. And I'm just shivering from the cold in
mine. Shivering from the suppressed emotions of my present. And I'm afraid I've forgotten
how to release them, because writing was how I did that.
And now you’re reading this. I'm afraid they'll only get worse…my lack of words, my emptiness.
So I’m here again, on a midnight bike ride, shivering, pleading, writing, waiting in a parking lot
with street lamps burnt out like me, trying to figure out how to light up again.
Panda Bear. (Aside (already?): For some reason, I so badly want to compare him to Sin Fang. They're similar, but very different in other ways. I don't know. I feel like I'm setting myself up to talk more about this, but I really haven't put more thought into it beyond that.) In my opinion, Panda Bear translates better recorded, but when I experienced Sin Fang in Iceland (hey, I should write about Iceland on this here blog), I was mesmerized by everything that was happening on stage and in my ears.
"Boys Latin" has the same effect on me. The music video, while bizarre and frightening at first, is incredibly beautiful. I have to admit, it brought me to tears.
Life is full of hard things, but as human beings learning to connect in an increasingly disconnected world, part of overcoming the murky times is helping people currently in the same situation you were in. Sometimes that means helping them to accept their circumstances, just as you have.
Plug for Panda Bear's Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper.