About me

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As defined by my occupation, I am a computer technician. I also love life and have a restless curiosity about new things. I am constantly amazed by the insight and creativity of others.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking forward while looking back

I'm sitting outside with my iPad thinking back on all that has happened in this very short period of time, now known forever as the year 2013 and looking back on it, I'd have to call this one a win.

Oh sure, there was the usual shit that happens: Work related stuff, too much month left at the end of the money, the various personal demons that I fight on a daily basis, as well as a few medical issues, and the aggravation of having to move, rather abruptly to another place. On balance though, I came out ahead.

  The best thing to happen this year was that I found a whole new group of wonderful and supportive friends, while the same time, deepening my ties to the few that are closest to me. The severely damaged relationship with my ex is slowly but surely being repaired, and even though we are no longer "together" we have rediscovered the friendship that we had more than 20 years ago. Being pushed together by circumstances has enabled both of us to relearn the value of working together to our mutual benefit.

It was a year if discovery and exploration as well. Rather than merely stumbling from day to day, in order to just "get by", I have begun to try to expand my horizons, pushing at the boundaries of my limited comfort zone. It started back in June, when with the encouragement of my lovely friend Ferns, I began going to the gym in the hope of not only becoming stronger and healthier, but enhancing my self image as well. Although this last month has made it impossible to get more than a couple of scattered workouts in, I should be able to get back into it as my work schedule eases up a bit.

I have also taken a renewed interest in photography, something I haven't done in many years, as well as started writing a bit. Not only did I start this blog (something I would not have even considered a year ago) but even entered (and WON in September) the Flash in the Pen short story contest. I intend to keep at it too as I find it easier to summon the courage to express myself.

Overall, 2013 has left me a little more centered, confident, and feeling more in control of my life than. I have felt in a very long time. I was able to stand toe to toe with my personal demons and mostly came out on top, and even though there are still a number of challenges ahead, and a couple of dark clouds looming on the horizon, (things I don't wish to mention here) I think that I am in a much better position to deal with them now than I was a year ago.

To all of you who have come into my life, both new and old, thank you so much for being there, and while I may not express it often enough, you do mean a lot to me and I wish only the best for you. May we all have a wonderful 2014

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How socks get lost!... Captured on video!

Instead of doing apartment cleaning, cooking, and other mundane stuff, I spent the day having fun with a new stop motion app that I got for my iPad... I love stuff like this. Granted, I'll never be another Cecil B DeMille, but it kept me out of trouble for the day.

Have you ever wondered how socks just disappear?.. This is how it happens! I think that the same thing happens to car keys too!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Paradise Postponed: Losing faith but gaining freedom

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2, 15-17

The World... I remember when it was evil. Not the planet, or the people that live on it, but the age itself. At one time, I saw everything around me as the culmination of six thousand years of Satanic misrule that would soon be replaced by the glorious "Kingdom of God", where the righteous would rule with the returned Messiah and the poor, stumbling, and misguided inhabitants of this dying world would be liberated and guided into a new and enlightened way. 

From my mid twenties, until I was forty years old, I labored in a cult that held tightly to this conviction and believed that it would come to pass within our lifetimes. Practically everything I did was predicated on this belief and it would effect every aspect of my life.

Even after the church's original founder died, and a new administration took over, I was inclined to continue to follow its precepts. After all, by now, my entire reality and social fabric had been woven from its cloth. This is not to say I didn't have my doubts. I have always been a skeptic at heart but tried my best to fight against doubt, calling it a tool of the devil, because I wanted to believe, with all my heart, that it was true. I loved the security of "knowing" the "true" meaning of life, and threw myself with enthusiasm into spreading the "Good News" of the "Wonderful World Tomorrow"

My life centered around weekly Sabbath services, and bible studies, as well as many hours of personal prayer, study, and meditation. I chose to forgo such things as education, career, plans for retirement, and tried to put as much distance between myself and "worldly" relationships as I could. Instead, I formed relationships that were almost exclusively within the church. They became my true spiritual family, and the very thought of a partnership, or even a casual date, with a non-member was completely unthinkable. I chose instead, to use the first fruits of my labors to advance the cause of righteousness while eschewing most of those things that I considered to be worldly, and therefore sinful. I had willingly confined myself to a cloistered existence where every thought and action was to be filtered through this church and it's interpretation of scripture. Closing myself off from the rest of society, I became a slave of Christ, and I would spend many a year, flailing away with countless amounts of both time and treasure in order to prove myself worthy. However, it was not to last.

The beginning of the end started over a seemingly minor point: The age of the earth. The church taught that the book of Genesis was literally true. (Although they modified that slightly, later on) From their point of view, God had used 7 literal days in which to create the universe and as much as I tried to tell myself it was so, my rational, and skeptical mind eventually HAD to prove it one way or the other. For the first time, I began to look into science and it's relationship to faith in order to try to figure out what was true. The more I studied, the more convinced I became that we'd had it wrong but any attempt to get answers to my questions within the group were rebuffed. Now, with my curiosity piqued, I began to delve into the other tenants that I had held so dear to put them to a similar test. In addition, the church itself had begun to evolve in its beliefs which only further convinced me that I had been wrong all this time. Eventually, I was suspended from the church as a non believer and was finally forced to leave the group all together.

I began to study earnestly and in time, the light of rational thought began to seep in to my mind and I began to think outside of that tiny theocratic box I had been confined to for so long. Dogma was replaced by reason, and the arrogance of absolute certainty by the humility of genuine doubt and questioning. Yet in spite of throwing off the shackles of doctrine, and the precepts of a dead faith, I continued to struggle for more than another decade with these things, while in a marriage to another former cult member that would eventually fail as well.

It's only been in the past three years or so, since I have been completely on my own, that a true awakening has come. For the first time ever, I feel completely free. I am no longer putting off the things of life in order to wait for a paradise that is not coming. I no longer look for signs of the end, but rather for sign posts that point the way to the future. The thick veil of irrationality has been rent asunder and I have broken the chains of ideology. I have been liberated!

As exciting as freedom is, it is also scary. The questions of immortality, the reason for my existence, and the very important question of why things happen the way they do, are all lost upon me now, as I suppose they are for most. I feel as though the many years spent in the church have left me socially maladjusted and intellectually stunted, and there are times when I miss that way of life terribly. There are also those times, when I feel lost and so eternally lonely that I can't even begin to find the words to describe it. Yet in spite of the loneliness, and ambiguity, I would much rather grope uncertainly in the light of reality that walk with assurance through the darkness of superstition.