This is Not a Drill

The sirens wail. The wind whips into the windows and they shudder, shaking with the force of falling trees. Desks scrape against the floor as students shove themselves from their seats in unison; feet pound like pelting raindrops on the floor.

On the stairs.

As we make our way to the basement. They scurry to find a place beside the walls; they crouch and duck and cover. The lights flicker off. We’re buried in darkness.

Continue reading

TBT: Sweater Weather

Sometimes I laugh when friends of mine, who live with their partners, remark how annoying it is and then tell me to “Just wait till you live together.”

As if I haven’t been waiting for over two years, right?

The longest continuous period of time Harel and I had together was three weeks in December 2015. It was my third visit to Mexico City, and it was the first visit we didn’t fill with adventures around the city, to museums and churches and any place.

Instead we lived together. We woke up next to each other, we went grocery shopping, we cooked for each other, we visited friends, we drank, ate, were merry. The way he puts his computer on the kitchen table and plays music while he cooks. The way he doesn’t walk around the house without anything on his feet.

Little things. The things that annoy other people. The things I cherish.

One day it was colder than expected, and we needed to dress up a bit, and the only sweater I had was a purple hoodie–I love it, but it didn’t suit the occasion. So Harel pulled all his sweaters out of the closet and had me try on each of them.

I remember saying the cardigan looked particularly feminine on my figure.

Then yesterday a couple new sweaters I ordered online arrived (I’m not naturally a sweater person, mind you, but being that I’ll be teaching in Milwaukee, where it’s much colder than it is in NC, and being that sweaters can be worn casually and professionally, it seems a fashion sense I should acquire), and as I buttoned up the smokey grey cardigan, I couldn’t help but feel the moment was incomplete without Harel with me.

Most days I scramble out of bed and get dressed in such a hurry, I’m lucky if I put my foot through the right pant leg on my first try. Getting dressed is routine, the necessary machinery to prepare myself for a professional day.

But with Harel, even getting dressed was something special.

GFM sidebar

(To give some context to our expressions in the picture–in which I’m wearing Harel’s sweater–it was taken right after we found out his parents were visiting. That is, when we found out we were all meeting for the first time.)

Zero Measure

I haven’t been sleeping well since I got back from Alaska. The time change was easy heading west: All I had to do was stay up late. Coming east wasn’t as easy–it feels like midnight at four in the morning. So today’s fiasco actually began last night: I didn’t get to sleep till five. In the morning.

So waking up at nine? Didn’t happen. Ten? Not even then.

And it only got worse from there.

Continue reading

Photons Magnificent

This time nine years ago, the world was a different place. I was a different man. I was hardly a man at all; I was still a boy, draped in juvenile dreams, believed of a world that didn’t exist, or instead existed beneath the tide of the world we lived in. Mythologies were ripening inside me, thousands of stories stirring, yearning to get out.

It was somehow pristine, yet thoroughly in the dark.

I remember it clearly. Oh so very clearly.

Continue reading

Time is Not on Our Side

There’s a strange sequence of events that flourishes with any venture between deadlined tasks. We are harried and rushed for release, then harried and rushed for return. In the midst of this tumult I find myself now, pacing and aching in any number of ways and directions at any given moment. I feel akin to a vector turned into a field, a being capable of but one magnitude and direction in an instant but suddenly forced to move outwards with no aim in sight.

It started simply enough, I told myself. There would be time. So much time.

Continue reading

Soliloquy for the Storm

I wrote Sojourn a week ago, but school kept me from posting it any sooner. Reading it over, proofreading my mind to open it to others, reminded me exactly of all the things I was feeling when I wrote it. (My most meager hope is that something even slightly similar was stirred somewhere inside my readers’ souls.)

Today I’m distracted. Not namely by those feelings, but by ones greater. (In Toy Story, Woody made the comment that Buzz wasn’t flying, he was falling with style. Well let’s face this: I’m not falling. I’m flying.) It’s kept a perpetual fire burning inside me, an eternal light, a hearth to never die down, always tended if oft unseen.

Then came the wind.

Continue reading

Equal Rights to Merry

I hate Christmas.

I apologise. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, a flamboyant overestimation of my annual feelings. I do not hate Christmas. I don’t quite understand it (forgive my hitherto lack of sensitivity, but if we all know historically Jesus was not born on the solstice, why do so many people still insist–and heartily believe!–he was?), but I do not hate it. More aptly, I hate the commercialization of Christmas, and as one who doesn’t celebrate it, that’s the only part of it I have to deal with on a regular basis. So from my vantage I hate all that’s to be done with Christmas–but that’s only because I’m on the outside, looking in.

There was a time, however, when I did love Christmas.

Continue reading

Let There Be Lightning

It’s a little early for Thankful Thursdays, but sometimes, inspiration strikes like lightning–and today, tonight, whichever it is–that’s exactly what I’m thankful for!

8. Lighting.

We’re having a lightning storm this evening, a lot of wind, not a lot of rain, and so when I went forth to pull up the plants (they could use the watering, but not if it means being blown across the yard), I stopped in wonder as lightning flooded the sky and turned night into day–I literally cast a shadow by the flash alone. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw the entire sky lit up the brightest white I’ve ever seen. I walked onto our driveway, looking skywards, and just said to myself, “This is the wonder of God.”

Continue reading