Kenzo

•July 15, 2012 • 2 Comments

Today I must write, write without stopping. No editing or retracing my thoughts just the fluid motion of my fingers on the letter keys as my thoughts become sentences. My mind is a cloudy mess and there is a chance of rain, of tears or words, needing to be released as a washing of my spirit.

I’ve lived in Kensington for almost 2 years and I have never experienced anything quite like what I’ve experienced within the past week. I had fears, no doubt, about living in the ghetto but none of them had been confirmed for me.
The reality of where I live had begun to establish itself in my mind just a few weeks ago when a gentlemen, a family man, overdosed one night in the apartment below me. His body lying there on the ugly green carpet was my rude awakening to life in Kenzo. And now, something more has lifted my eyes off the ground.
I returned home a few days ago only to find the tenets living in the two first floor apartments were all up in arms about something. They claimed the water had been shut of, and so it had, and also that while checking into the pipes downstairs they had discovered a massive oil leak in the basement of our building. As the fist floor began to fill with fumes we decided it would be best to get ahold of our management company. The company, not wanting to take responsibility as usual, referred us to the oil company of which I had very little interaction with. Thankfully I had a business card which was passed to me during the winter season when my heat was, on several occasions, turned off. I called the oil company, who then suggested I call the gas emergency line of philadelphia. Glad to have finally reached the answer I was looking for, I called the line and was told someone would be out to inspect the place within the next hour. Meanwhile, one of the tenets on the first floor had called the fire department and so by the time I was through with my phone conversations the trucks were already at my door step.
After a few hours of heated phone conversations with the management company, inspections, names and phone numbers, bags of product to cover the hazardous fuel, water, and open windows, a red stripped notice was placed on our door declaring the building unlivable. City inspectors gathered a list of violations, listing more then just the oil in the basement, and handed it to the management company stating that all violations must be fixed before residents could return to their homes. Aside from this excitement it was also discovered during the process of inspection that the reason the water had been shut off was because someone had stolen the copper piping downstairs and in addition, the gentleman living on the third floor was no where in the management’s books which can only mean that he had been technically squatting for the past several years.
I was put up in a days inn for the night but was later asked to choose between a hotel, in which case I would still need to pay this months rent, or to stay with friends/family, in which case my rent would be refunded. Neither option was great but we decided to stay with friends.
I moved deeper into the heart of Kensington with Ian and his housemates, which felt like the best solution at the time. After a nice long shower, a nap, a potluck at The Simple Way, which turned into a chopping down and gathering of a dead tree, with neighbors and hippies alike and ending with good conversations and fun times, and breakfast club in the morning, I was starting to feel at home in a new neighborhood.
However, that morning I also woke up only to find that my car had been broken into and someone had stolen my CD player, my roommates passport and checkbooks, and Ian’s CD booklet. I was not thrilled nor was I really all that surprised, I could only be thankful that my car was still there and that my roommates camera was still under the blanket I had covered it with the night before.
Documenting the tales of the past week is one thing but I cannot describe how all of this has made me feel. I feel, I guess. I feel that for once I am truly living in the district I say I am. I feel my world has been disrupted and my eyes have been opened. This is real, my life here is real, and I am here, I am staying. I’m angry and afraid, I feel guilty and disturbed, sort of helpless and unsafe, but I’m glad. I’m glad because without any serious harm being done, I want to know this life, to understand the community I live in.

Maybe Kenzo will lift my eyes off myself.

July 10

•July 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I forgot.
Not sure if I tried to, or meant to.

I forgot.
Wish I hadn’t, not sure how it happened.

I forgot.
Forget.
Forget when it happened
Forget what you looked like.
Forget how you felt.

Sorry I can’t remember,
remember what you’re like.
Sorry you’re fading,
fading in my memory.

Forgotten.
Forgetting.

I love you still.

Your thoughts on me.

•June 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I cannot help but imagine your thoughts of me…

I trust you think I’m fickle and dishonest,
a bit conceited and unfaithful.
I feel that perhaps…
you are tired of waiting for me, waiting for me to really
show myself, to really care, to really love with all
of me.
I don’t doubt you know I’m confused a great deal,
and that I give up easily.

You know that I am me, and well….I guess that explains a lot.
Except that I’ve been told you know a different sort of me. The one with full potential and loveliness, and awe. I’m not so sure I know
this me, the one without the grime.

But, I would like to know
a me, a me like you would see. I think that it would change my
world,
to see as you now see.

Church Today

•June 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You speak of a manifestation.
But your words are stories to me.
Stories of the past,
said present.
Are they really?

To see is to believe.
And I am Peter,
wanting proof.
Waiting for,
hands that speak.

I’ve seen.

Saw them weep,
and laugh,
and fall down shaking.
A language I can’t fake.

Do you not,
feel satisfied,
if when the stage is set,
the congregation’s lukewarm spirits
only dance in gray apparel?

The music plays.
Gentle keys.
A melody.
How is it not,
could it not,
be a therapy?

Refusing to be placed,
on the Potter’s wheel.
If emotion keeps me spinning,
I prefer the broken.

If raw is real
then love can heal.
Lord your hands,
might I feel?

Home

•June 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Every time I’m home I feel as though I transform into another body, a body of the past. Someone I was, or wanted to be, or thought I was expected to be. I become a stranger in my own hometown. I do not have the same job, the same relationships, the same house or even the same bedroom. I am not known as I once was, nor do I know as I used to. My thoughts, ideas, concepts, beliefs, are of a new breed. Rooted in that which was my parents, I have grown into a sort of uncomfortably different being. Should this bother me, trouble my spirit? There was peace in that place I called home, peace that I have now lost touch with. Was it tangible or was it only a blind innocence? I cannot be sure. Only this I am sure of, once I had peace and now it is gone. Scripture says, “seek peace and pursue it.” Perhaps, in what I knew as home, it was screamed into my spirit and now, on my own, I must fight to reclaim it.
Peace, then, I shall purse, and I shall gain. I will find it in the heavens, in my God, in myself, in humanity, and in my world. I will seek it until I find it.

And this is real.

•June 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday I saw a man lying on the floor with medical chords streaming from his chest. I could not see his face, only his torso against the dirty, greenish carpet. Two medical examiners were present. The first, blocking my view of the man’s face and the other hovering over the body. I paused for a moment in the door way, hoping, and yet not hoping, to catch a glimpse of this man’s identity. Having no success and not wanting to intrude, I continued on my way up the stairs to the second floor apartment where I lived. I closed the door behind me, and as I let my belongings sink to the floor I began to weep. …”A man overdosed. There’s a dead body lying in there on the floor.”
The neighbor lady didn’t know his name, I didn’t know his name. Hopelessness fell on me like a weight. Who was he? Did he have friends? Was he loved? Why didn’t anyone stop him?
Questions fell with every tear and I wondered where God was in all of this. If we are to be like Christ, then somewhere along the line we must have, I must have, failed.

AMOR

•June 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was planning on posting only a few sections of 1 Corinthians 13 but decide I could not leave out any segment of the chapter. The whole piece is lovely, inspiring, challenging. To live in this way, would be ones greatest success… would be to have loved like God himself.

1 Corinthians 13
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Greatest Gift

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Will we love? Can we love? How will we love? This is not a game, this is life. We cannot, should not, chose when, where, or whom to love. It’s all or nothing. Either you love or you don’t and if you have not love in ALL things, what is the point in having loved a little? Did you really love then? Is not all ones love rooted in the same heart?