May 2012: Featured Post
On a monthly basis, lifeseek.org will be featuring a thought-provoking essay that is designed to stimulate healthy dialogue and a collective resolve to seek the face of God for answers of some of the most pressing issues of our age. Your participation and feedback is very important to us and we encourage you to leave your comments, facebook or tweet this post after reading.
I started it; it’s my fault.
I’ve been calling my book a “literary mixtape”, so it was only a matter of time before someone asked to “hear” one of the “songs”.
Also, for the sake of this blog, I’m going to stop calling it that now. It’s only a “mixtape” insomuch as it’s a mix of several different nontraditional bits and pieces, strung together as one.
I’ve also called it a salad.
The problem with a salad, though, is that if you stab your fork blindly into the bowl, you run the risk of pulling out a lonely wedge of tomato or a single slice of cucumber. You definitely have a mouthful of flavor, but you don’t really have an idea of what the salad is like as a whole.
Until now, that’s been my fear when it comes to sharing from my new book. If you visit the Kickstarter Campaign, you’ll see that I’m quite artful when it comes to dodging the question: “So what’s it about?”
And now we’re back at the salad.
Instead of answering that question, I try my best to answer another question: “So what’s it do?”
That part is easy; it makes you smile. More specifically, it makes your soul smile! No matter who you are—guaranteed. But that doesn’t really help you, does it?
I am a Christian. There; I said it. That’s the answer you’ll always get when you wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me: “Adam, who are you?”
Plain and simple, every time, I’ll yawn, wipe the crust from my eyes, and tell you the same thing: I belong to Jesus.
But the waking, walking, all-day-long Adam is a bit more complicated.
I’m like a salad too, and Jesus is the lettuce of me.
Stab a fork into my heart and that’s what you’ll get most of. But there’s quite a few other preoccupations mixed in there too.
Insecurity. Culture. Money. Sex.
And that’s what you get when you read my book. It’s not like I have a “piece about God” and then a “piece about sex” and then “a piece about money”…
One short story is about an obsessive compulsive Peeping Tom who spies on his naked neighbor…and prays for her.
Another story appears to be about masturbation, yet turns out to actually be about a lonely man who yearns for pleasant memories of his childhood.
Still another poem is so bold in its juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane that it could probably get me kicked out of the church. For real. But I stand by it. It’s honest, and honest is the best I can do.
And I didn’t write this book overnight. Everything’s on purpose. Every comma, word choice, etc. That kind of makes it worse. It means I have to be responsible for everything I say…
Which is terrifying.
More than anything, this book is an experiment. Where do my words fit? Who is my audience? I’m about 90 days way from finding out. Join me on that journey.
And now, only because I’ve been asked, here’s a forkful to chew on. I hope you can taste the croutons and bacon bits and creamy avocado in there too.
I hurry across the street. My head is down.
I need a haircut.
I think about how little I’m worth.
I wonder what I can buy to make me feel better.
I think about how ugly I am.
I probably have a double chin under my beard.
Clothes that used to be too big, fit me now.
I don’t make enough money.
My sunglasses only cost nine dollars.
My car is almost as old as I am.
I hear a construction worker make a cat-call.
I may as well have a look too.
Maybe it will cheer me up.
“Slow down and let me look at you!”
I search her out.
Where is she?
“Beautiful! You’re breaking my heart!”
I stop walking altogether.
Gotta get a look at this woman!
Then I catch his eye.
He can’t be.
He whistles a deep long note.
“Oh, what I’d do to you if I could get you alone!”
This is how God pursues me.