:: gagging on stale morning air (in praise of the nightmare)


you: the two words you spoke audibly after this morning’s nightmare to
which you woke up, just as the sun began to rise behind those typical
three-rivers clouds.

earlier, it was raining hard, and you got
up to shut the window and pull your bible off of the window-sil so that
it wouldn’t get wet. it was still dark out, but not nighttime dark. you
know, the kinda dark that it gets just before it gets light. dark, but
not dark. light, but not light. somewhere in between.

it’s in
that somewhere-in-between that the nightmare broods and is birthed. she
knew it was coming and everyone was there (that’s why she gathered us).
not even the fake blue sky in the fake green landscape lit with the
fake gold light from the fake burning sun could prevent it. everything
was fake but this. time to say good-bye, you know? good-byes are sad,
you know? it’s hugs all around and now it’s your turn. her breathing
becomes more labored and that soon-to-be-ninety-six-year-old pair of
lungs are working hard. she crumples in your arms and the words are
there, mumbled into her ear “_____ ___”.

(that didn’t make sense, say it the hell again before it’s too late!)

thank you.

(too late, dammit.)

and with that, friday october the nineteenth began.

the sun is up now.

and so are you.

10.17.2007; 14th and E. Carson, Pgh, Pa (if i wasn’t a calvinist, i’d hate women)

among your heart’s great durress, you want to scream, shout and dance
(huh?!) in your joy. this all-consuming joy that only shows its face in
those dark hours. it’s those days when you are brought so low that
there is only one to be reached out to, and in that great distress,
that horrible despair, even, is the one who ordained that misery –
those weaknesses – to fight for perfect glory. and in that is the great comfort.

months ago in this very coffee shop, you scribbled down those words
about all things being made new – from Death comes Life, right? right.
and in these tragedies (or so we see them) lie our daily-mini-deaths.
and borne out of those deaths are new mini-lives. and in the redemption
from that death, to this life – what joy!

in deepest despair one cries out – and in that cry, there is sustinance – that greatest joy.

foolishness: to look to the grandest times of sorrow + suffering with
the strongest sentiment of nostalgia + yearning. don’t you taste
redemption? it is near. and in fact, it is here. suffer again; there is
no fear.

death begets life. sorrow begets only the purest of all joys.

here you are, young + naieve. what grand tragedy have you endured? you
are a fool to write such ugly words. you cannot fathom the heart-break
of the most awful tragedies. how can you so boldly proclaim that you yearn for
them? in those most tragic of kingdoms that you have found yourself
(though they know nothing of the depths of some – or most, for that
matter!) always sustained by the power borne of such

if you must boast and delight in anything, delight
in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. when
you are weak, then you are strong.