How do you show Love?

How Do You Show Love

June 21, 2003

Written when I was almost in tears waiting to be loved; simply begging for someone who took an interest in me, who cared for the strange person I was, and would be interested in finding out more about me.

I’ve discovered that someone who fits perfectly with me is incredibly hard to find, but also realized that if I wanted to find them, they would be looking for someone who would care for them.

Thus, the conclusion to my turmoil, and the production of the poem.

How do you show Love
When you care for someone so much
How can you think straight
When they love you just as much

How can you feel cold
With so much warmth inside
How can you feel alone
When someone is always by your side

How can you feel stress
With someone to calm your fears
How can you be frightened of growing old
With someone who is there for years

How can you be silent
When everything in you shouts with gladness
How can feel sorrow
With someone who dries every sadness

How can you cry
When the tears won’t come
How can you wear anything but a smile
When happiness from them comes

* * * * *

So how can anyone be sad
If you do the same
How can anyone not know where to go
When it begins to rain

How can anyone feel alone
If you are their friend
How can anyone feel frustrated
When you’re with them to the end

How can anyone feel left out
If you always include them in
How can anyone not care
When you care so deep within

How can you refuse
The greatest tool from above
How is it possible
Not to show love?

Life in a Sunbeam

Life in a Sunbeam

July 6, 2003

This poem was written last summer, it was a gift. I guess it shows what must have been fundamentally wrong with the relationship. She accepted the gift, but not the Life in a Sunbeam.

yes, this poem is sappy.
yes, it’s romantic.
yes, it’s idealistic.
but if you can’t relate to it, I weep for you.

You can call me simple
For wishing on a stars above

You can tell my I’m crazy
For believing in true love

But I can’t help living in a dreamworld
That’s just the way I am

I can’t help looking on the bright side
Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to stand


I live for every moment
Memorize every trace of a smile

Because I’m so scared of losing you
And have only that memory to push me

So join me in this fantasy land
Be with me a dreamer of dreams

For life gives us only one luxury
Life in the glow of a Sunbeam.

Love Alone

Love Alone

August 3, 2003

This poem was chopped up to heck when I first wrote it, but I decided it didn’t read smoothly enough, so I put it in this format. I hope you like it.

Love Alone was written out of sad frustration.

Repeatedly I have been told that one can not live on love alone. “Who’s going to put food on the table? Who’s going to put a roof over your heads? Who’s going to keep you safe? Not love.”

I, however, STILL believe in true love, and I believe love surpasses all things.

Some critics would say, “ok, fine. So you’ll be in love. You’ll starve her and yourself to death.”
I disagree. You see, if you love someone, you’ll want to take care of them. AND (not too many people realize this one) if you know they care about you, you’ll take care of yourself so as not to cause them heartache by letting yourself be harmed. There IS such a thing as selfless love, but commiting suicide does not fall in that category. Suicide is selfish. Dying for love is another matter.

Anyhow, it was Caroline who posed these questions to me, “what about money, our different races, our different age, our different cultures, languages, family backgrounds, wealth…”
And this was my responce. If love is full blown, nothing else matters.
It’s not going to work it out on it’s own, no.
But it will help motivate you to really care.

One cannot live on love alone
The statement does fairytales dethrone
Rendering couples to each their own
Changing elation to a war zone

One must live up to the standard of cash
Where one is revered by how much they can stash
With glory for riches, with hatred for trash
And a man can be broken by stock market crash

One cannot live on love alone
Until one’s heart is completely full grown
The most enduring muscle man has known
With a compassion capacity seldom shown

One must be beautiful, handsome and strong
Always be right, but not afraid to be wrong
Be strong in the head, but not quite headstrong
One who never follows, but always comes along

One cannot live on love alone
For love is fatal unless by the other one shown
One cannot love with love alone
For one cannot give away what they do not own

One must be cordial, curt and polite
Never to boring, but always a delight
As sharp as steel and keenly as bright
With the reputable standing of a shining knight

One cannot live alone on love
But no one can alone live on all the above
Only these lived through the Power above
Can result in any shade of complete true love

Though one can always give their best
Never loose hope or let their guard rest
Always be strong and never be stressed
Remember each is human, and each is equally blessed

One cannot live on love alone
But two can live when that love is shown
Though two can love, they must not love alone
For Gods love, like our love, is strongest full blown.

Never Be Decieved

Never Be Decieved

August 10, 2003

Thanks so much to :devsot67: for helping me learn rhythm for this one. :)

This is a NEW poem, I just wrote it a couple days ago after shuffling through my old poetry folder and finding nothing relating what I was feeling.

I’m simply entertaining a daydream with the poem, it’s not particularly written to anyone save my future wife.
I didn’t really have anyone in mind; just simply wishing I did.

I hope you enjoy itl

I want to sail breakfast
Far along the coast
Scent pines in our breath
Spiced with French toast

Feel the sun glow on your skin
Feel a love that’s never been
Let the seas swing you to sleep
Slumber with feeling too deep

I want to glance into your eyes
And never be deceived
I want to plummet into love
And know you’ll never leave

I want to show you forever
With nothing left to hide
I want to realize our dreams
And have you by my side

Watch the sun bloom
Over turquoise oceans
Feel our days blend
Destiny circumfornean

See the fish race by our ship
See the sail in full-blown rip
See the waves thunder the land
Let us see life hand in hand

Set our anchor in the cove
Don our snorkels and our masks
Glide above the glimm’ring reefs
Sharing smiles across the glass

Dancing close on starlit sand
As if it were our debut
After a million times
That I had danced with you

I want to pull the mast down
Weathering ferocious storms
Letting Chopin sing to us
Lighting candles; staying warm

I want to sit up with you
After we’ve gone to bed
Telling you soft sweet stories
As I cradle your head

I want to sail with you
To a land forevermore
Slide smoothly to eternity
And beach upon it’s shores.

Fen Xin

Fen Xin

August 17, 2003

Fen Xin means literally “Divided Heart” (thanks, sto67), though I used it for a slightly different definition than Stephen did.

I’m confused as to what was really true in the past; whether Caroline lied to me or not. I don’t know. You see, one of the last things she said to me was that every time she had said “I love you.”, she had never really meant it.
But, I don’t know how much truth there was to that. It leaves me wondering which was the lie.

Anyhow, back to the poem.
It’s an experimental style for me; pure rhythm. This poem can actually be done as a rap, which I may do later.
The title (Fen Xin) is meant to be read as part of the poem.

I engineered it a bit more than is originally apparent, though… its deceptivly simple.

When you read it through the first time, you’ll probably read it straight down like you read any other poem. And it makes sense that way. The rhyming and story fit.

However, try reading the 1st line in each paragraph, and then the 2nd, and so on. You’ll see it tells a much more complete story.

I did this on purpose; because the truth can be taken two ways.

Fen Xin

Stolen soul
Gaping pool
Ancient scar
Stiletto mist

Half hole
Lovestruck ghoul
Winter star
Silent kiss

Unseen tear
Life unfair
Stolen right
Waning moon

Deafened ear
Undone pair
Soft goodnight
Far too soon

Shiny eyes
Heart of ice
Drawing close
Never again

Romantic vice
Unthrown rice
Living ghost
Lost Friend

Fen Xin

Fusion Paper

Fusion Paper

December 10, 2003

At Messiah College, you are required to write a Faith Integration paper, describing how you plan to integrate a Christian Faith in the workplace.
Mine is a little different, though, and here it is.

An integration of faith and profession is an interesting topic for the pinnacle of the stack of papers that have comprised my college career. It might be amusing in some ways simply because it is a current debate as to whether or not I am to be considered a professional (since I have been doing professional freelance work for some time), but career aside, an integration’s first supposition is that there had to be a divide somewhere that now must be repaired. For me there is no divide, or at least it’s not completely apparent yet.

My faith could be represented as a suit, through which I do everything. It is something I see the world through, and everything I do in life—work, play, schoolwork, relationships—is done through it. The popular model of faith in this society seems to be that faith (among other things) is only a part of a person, and the different divisions (their culture, upbringing, personal views) make the person up; and how well they create things using two or more “parts” is where the integration comes in.

However, because I see these different “parts” inextricably fused together to begin with, I get a lot of confusion and dire misconceptions by others about how I view the world. Because I see them as already combined and an irremovable part of me, people around me have a misconception that somehow I have got all the answers and have everything together. I am still learning, just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, it seems, I am learning with a different foundation. What exactly this means for me, I am uncertain. This brings me to the realization that I do not see the world like everyone else. Naturally, for this I receive a lot of guff as being stuck up, usually by people and do not know what I am like or fully understand what I am trying to say. Most get very defensive when they feel like I am trying to say that my worldview is superior or more complete than theirs. That’s not what I am saying at all. I simply am pointing out I come have different point of view.

A large part of who I am comes from my upbringing on the Native American reservation of Kawawachikamach in Northern Quebec. I moved there with my parents when I was four as missionaries, and spent most of my time with the Naskapi tribe. The community and my own parents raised me both about equally, and I spent a great amount of time with the Naskapi elders. I would often go out with them and my father on hunting trips, deep into the bush. The elders would often explain to me the way things were before they settled down. The Naskapi peoples were originally a nomadic people, following the caribou herds in their migrations around Northern Quebec. Because they often had to move quickly and set up camp, they were mainly confined to small family groups. And with food being very scarce, the husband of the family might have to go out hunting on his own for three weeks at a time simply to bring home enough game to last the next three weeks.

This led to a very solitary life, with a strong connection between the hunter and the Creator, being at the complete mercy of God while out in the bush. There were two things important to the hunter: his own ability to sense his surroundings, and the gift of dreams from the Creator. The strength of the senses was critical: being silent and listening to the world around you, learning to watch the skies for changes in the weather, sitting still and watching a valley for signs of movement, noticing the tiniest change in the folds of snow as animal tracks from weeks before, each is important and crucial to survival. Listening to God is also extremely important. Not only does He talk to us through our senses and by making you aware of things you might not otherwise notice, but also especially in dreams. Dream analyzing is very important to the Naskapis, because dreams are treated as special insights from the one who sees everything. Often on the hunting trips the elder will get up in the morning, knowing exactly where he needs to go for game because of a dream he had.

These things were ingrained in me by the elders at a very young age, and continued in my teachings from both my parents and the Naskapis as I matured. The elders also taught me to see beauty in everything. The younger generation of the village has been grossly corrupted by the outside world (streaming into every house via satellite TV), and it transformed the community into a veritable ghetto. The Naskapi peoples were one of the last tribes discovered; and by the time they were the Canadian government had changed its ways of dealing with Native Americans to much more humane and diplomatic methods, so the Naskapis got a very good deal in terms of support. However, though money keeps pouring into the community, it keeps getting worse and worse through the corruption of the youth. Drug wars and fights are a common occurrence back home, and a big thing that they picked up on from watching TV shows with appearances by Native Americans and African Americans was a strong racism against white people. Though it was contrary to everything that Naskapi elders valued, I was severely abused in high school by the teenagers. Beatings were a common occurrence outside after school, despite the fact that by this time the only thing that separated them from myself was my skin colour.

The elders were very aware of the corruption of their grandchildren, but felt powerless to change it, so they took me under their wings. One thing that kept the Naskapis alive as nomads was a strong, persistent sense of optimism, no matter what came their way. The elders taught me to look at every situation as something of beauty, no matter how difficult it was, and to make the best of it. This literally kept me alive through high school, and enabled me to deal with the incredible mental, spiritual and physical battles that I went through as a result of racism.

An attempt at eternal optimism seems to be something that some people strive for in this American culture, but I haven’t come across too many who in their heart of hearts see the way I do. A large bulk of the population seem to believe that optimism is linked with idealism, and as such is directly opposed to realism. And to the neo-postmodern point of view, realism is the entire basis for everything. Though postmodernism attempted to be quite accepting of everyone’s point of view, neo-postmodernism realized that you couldn’t really get away from science and reasoning, and from the point of view of the anti-spiritual scientist, the world is a pretty dire place. If you have anything that resembles a fairy-tale outlook on life, you’re shot down by a horde of angry, depressed youth who see very little joy in the world; they despise anyone who would raise any hope… since it would only be in vain anyways.
When I was in the Naskapi high school I knew God had given me a specific set of gifts, but when it came down to it, I really wasn’t sure which of those gifts God wanted me to use. I prayed and prayed trying to figure out which gift to use. I didn’t get much of an answer, but finally with the approaching deadline to pick a college, I decided to go with Engineering. I came to Messiah because I was looking for a Christian Engineering school, and by my second year as an engineer, I was feeling pretty comfortable that this is what God wanted me to do.
Spring Semester of 2001, I took Engineering classes, Calc II, World Views, Philosophy and Ethics all at the same time. I worked hard in the classes, but I kept finding that there was something missing. My World Views, Philosophy and Ethics classes talked a lot about how Christians should be working in their careers, and how they should leave their lives. Naturally, since I had chosen to be an engineer, I applied these ideas to my work.
I took Calc II from Prof. Hare, and every morning she would give devotions in the class. One day, she spoke and mentioned that the best quality of a job was one that you would do whether you got paid for it or not. I doubt I got anything out of the rest of that class, but it caused me to think very hard.

I suddenly realized that I wasn’t sure I would do engineering for free. That with all the work I had put into it, I felt somehow that I deserved some sort of … compensation for all the effort. Calc II was undoubtedly the hardest class I had, and I had frequently been visiting Prof. Hare for extra help. So struck was I by her comments, that I decided to visit her office.
We talked a long time, about my studies. And then she asked me if I had a passion for engineering. I answered that I wasn’t sure. She recommended I think about it. I thought and prayed for a long time. I began looking through my notes, and began noticing that all the margins were filled with drawings. Sketches of my classmates, cartoons written about life at Messiah, renderings of my professors and the objects they taught with. Suddenly I realized I might have been missing out on something God was trying to tell me. I felt as if I was at peace when I drew. I wasn’t the best, but for someone who knew nothing about art, I wasn’t bad. I thought and prayed some more.

I was also taking a Circuits class, one required for engineering. During a break, a couple classmates and I had a drawing contest. Each would draw a Christmas light on a string, to see who could draw the best one. Finally it was my turn. I did a little offhand sketch and passed it on. My friend Erica picked up the paper and stared at it.

“Ben, this looks real.” She said. I laughed, of course, thinking nothing of it. But she pulled me aside later. “Why aren’t you an art major?” she asked. I laughed again and replied I knew nothing of art. She nodded. “But you have a gift. If I had a gift like that, I wouldn’t want to waste it.”

I was in a difficult spot. I didn’t know anything about art. Engineers don’t have any time in their curriculum for any art courses. I didn’t know anyone who was in art. But suddenly everything was making sense. All the classes I was taking, everything everyone said, even the clue that I knew deep down that it was I who had chosen Engineering and not God… everything led to this.
My dad is a missionary in Northern Quebec. Because of how busy he is, I don’t always get to talk with him on what his life was like, but I had assumed that he had been an engineer. I had wanted to follow in his footsteps, and this had played a great part in me choosing my major.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that God was leading me elsewhere.

Finally, with much deliberation, I called my parents, to give them the news that I wanted to switch my major to Graphic Arts. My hands shook. It took me 4 or 5 tries to dial the number, cringing at what I thought my father would say.

The dial tone seemed to go on forever. Finally, my father picked up the phone. With a sinking gut but a strong will, I spilled my entire story. My father exploded on the phone. He was thrilled! It turns out; he had studied and had been a Graphic Designer before becoming a missionary!
I could still have been an Engineer; it was something I had the capacity to do. But I had the gift to be a Graphics Artist. It was where I found freedom, where I felt complete, where my soul simply rejoiced in what I did. Nothing else compares to that feeling. I couldn’t care less if I got paid for it or not. Because giving away what you have been given as a gift is all I could ever ask for.

And so, there you leave me: the eternally optimistic dreamer, placed in a position where I have the opportunity as a graphic designer to influence people. Suddenly I was strongly aware that I had the power to affect people with my work, and that I had better figure out what I held as important so that I might articulate it. This did not prove to be as big of a challenge as I originally thought it might be, because I was able to uphold the values I already held in other disciplines in art.

One of the main things I strive for in my art is the hidden details and bits of care that go into each piece. When someone realizes and figures out something I have put into the work, I have a point of commonality for a brief instant with the person, because in my everyday life I am constantly aware of these little details that most would simply pass by. It’s a sense of belonging, a feeling that I am not completely alone in what I see. And it gives me hope each time.

I find that many of my peers seem to be very concerned in defining what art is. There are huge debates in class as to what art is, what it embodies, what its significance is, and how it affects the world. I do not really feel compelled to define art at all, because I do not really see the point in a definition. Art, to me, is simply another fused part of me. It’s no different from anything else I do. I see beauty in either my surroundings or in my head, and I work to explain it, with art being simply one of the many outlets. I have other outlets in music and writing and many other things– but why I must take great pains to define this one is beyond me. Sportsmen, Musicians and Engineers are not required to define their professions in order to be able to carry them out successfully. In fact, I feel one of the main reasons I create art is because it is inexpressible in any other of my available mediums. I create art because I can’t define it.

At the same time, however, I have also come to realize that though beauty can be seen in everything, there are things that are easier to see the beauty in than others. Some things seem to be more positive expression of splendor than others. While there can be beauty in intense sorrow or unrequited love, it does not have such a strong apparent beauty as a glorious accomplishment or a passionate friendship. And I believe that those untrained in art recognize that. There seems to be a sort of acquired taste of beauty in the professional art world; artists seem to appreciate things for all different kinds of reasons other than this very base view of beauty. Rushing through a Graphic Arts education in very little over two years, I find this acquired taste strikingly absent from my own view. While I understand the arguments for the taste, and understand those who feel that way, I simply do not feel it. I can’t help looking at certain pieces and being completely revolted at their appearance while my classmates praise them for other reasons.

My view of beauty is still developing, but I can’t force myself to see certain distasteful things to me as emanating beauty, though I am still able to see their appealing qualities. Therefore, this greatly influences how I conceptualize my work and whose opinions I hold of value. I work hard at creating something that is visually stunning, touching, or simply “cool.” An audience’s positive reaction is the most important thing to me, for it is at that moment that I am finally able to communicate this beauty I see. I feel like a little kid sometimes, tugging at an adults’ pant leg, begging them to come to my level and see this gorgeous thing I see. The more effectively I am able to convey this; the better I feel my accomplishment as an artist.

I am realizing this brings me into a lot of conflict with other artists, particularly my friends in art classes. It lets me see works that the rest of the class defined as kitsch as objects of beauty. Though I have a few allies in defense of comic work and cartoons as beauty, I am pretty much on my own with the extremities of my point of view.

I really could care less, however. As long as it does not affect my grades or my health, my aloneness does not particularly bother me. I do my best to appease my professors and spend the rest of my time studying on my own and practicing drawing and graphics. Interestingly enough, I have come across a rather high number of professors who agree with me on various points, especially on seeing the beauty in “underdog art forms” such as graphics, screen printing and ceramics, as well as agreement on matters of revulsion in some of the just plain weird pieces that bloomed from Modern Art. I am still trying to figure out why exactly I am being agreed with, but my best guess is that it comes from their upbringing in the traditional values of beauty in art, as well as from attempts at acceptance of my ideas through post-modernism. In any case, it is of value to me that I am at least supported by my mentors in part. Though I do not mind being alone, it’s very difficult to be impartial when you on your own (it’s very easy to have a twisted point of view when you have no input), so it’s helpful to get input from professors as to how they see the world. Most professors seem reluctant to share that however, for fears they might “taint the class” with their worldview.

It might seem at this point that I am avoiding the aspect of faith in my work, supposedly what this entire paper is supposed to be about. However, in all honesty I am not sure God is calling me to be a Christian artist; giving me deliberation in calling it my profession. I know I was called to choosing Graphic Arts as a major, but whether or not God wants me to do this for the rest of my life is still unclear to me. In addition to the ability to see such an intense beauty, I have also been given a lot of other gifts and abilities. It might seem very confusing to some people, and indeed for many of my friends their biggest struggle is which gift to use for God. But the way I see it, I have been put together in the certain way that God wants me to be, and all I need to do is the best I can for Him in whatever I do. My artistic ability isn’t separate from my Engineering ability, nor my gift at Sociology, or Writing, or Theology, or Music, or Philosophy; it’s all still completely me. And the best way I know how to use them is to be the absolute best I can be at each, and live as if He were looking over my shoulder and examining my work. I do not always succeed, but this is my goal.

It is most likely that I will use all of my gifts, simply because they’re all so very much a part of me. I think that they all can be integrated with Art, and as much could be said about any of the other gifts I have been given. The ideas I learned up to this point (both at home and in college), I have learned for some reason, and no matter where I end up, they will help me in carrying out my portrayal of the beauty I feel God has let me see.

Iiyuuw Awaas

Iiyuw Awaas

April 4, 2004

Iiyuw Awaas, literally translated, means Native Child.

This poem I wrote to be read at the international banquet.

It was extremely well recieved, by both students and faculty.

I was inspired to write it by my friend Agaba Bisengo, who had shared her experience as a victim of genocide in Rwanda. Both her parents were killed.

The one thing she said struck me the most was that “Everyone had a story”

I feel I’ve held mine back far too long.

.:edit:. My dad ( helped me with some spelling of some older ways of speaking. :) Thanks.

I am the son of a white man
But I am the child of the Naskapi
I am Iiyuuw Awaas; a Native Child
That is how they called me

By the elders, I was raised
They taught me many things
To hunt; to smell caribou
As they travel north
To watch their thundering hooves
As the stamped in 3000 head strong
I am Atiihkw Awaas, a Caribou Child
That is how they called me

By the great Forest, I was raised
To feel the weather change
And listen to the ice melt
Echoing across the lake
Telling of warm snaps
To watch the winds
As the Geese fly
To speak to them
*honk honk*
And beckon them to land
To hear the Loon
And to answer its mournful cry
To speak with the great bear
And the lone wolf
As the chorus of the wind in the trees
Sang to me
I am Uskaahtikw Suuhchiuw, A Young Strong Tree
That is how they called me

By the heavens, I was raised
To watch the sun carefully
To know when it was going to set
And when to build a shelter
To watch the stars, the uchaakitaahkw
To let them lead me home
And share the dance of northern lights
I am Tipishkaaw Awaas, A Night Child
That is how they called me

By the children I was raised
They taught me to fight and be fought
They taught me not everyone loves everyone else
That colours and shades were enough to kill
That drugs and alcohol were death
That they saw no hope
That they hated me because they had seen people hate me on TV
They called me Michin Waamistikusuw Waas, The Ugly White Child
That is how they called me

By Chamindo, I was raised
He taught me to dream
He taught me the gift of clairvoyance
To see His friendship in your slumber
He taught me to see the beauty in all things
Even though they hurt me
And that love is stronger than hate or pain
He taught to interpret His gifts
To listen to him when he speaks
They called me Saachiihiiyiwaau Naapaaw, The Man who Loves
That is how they called me

To the United States I was brought
Moved down to where I was not home
Placed in a sea of Waamistikushuwch
They taught me that I was not one of them
They taught me to see that I fit better with minorities…
Than my own… No, than their own kind
They taught me there was much I had missed
While I was raised by the Naskapi
And I was glad
They called me Jansewits, for they could not speak
That is how they called me.

By International Students, I was raised
They welcomed me into their home
They gave me friendship and love
They did not condescend, but simply related
They showed me I wasn’t alone
Even among those who were not like me
They showed me I had been given gifts
They showed me people could use my help
They taught me new ways of speaking
And showed me my way was important too
They called me Young Savage, for they knew me
That is how they called me.

I am the son of a white man
But I am the child of the Naskapi
I am Iiyuuw Awaas; a Native Child
That is how I call myself.

Ending Speech

Ending Speech

April 4, 2004

I read this piece last night.
It it traditional at Internation Banquets for seniors to get up and say a few words; so I wrote this as halfway a speech of thanks & encouragement, and halfway a poem.

I’m putting it up because several people said they’d like copies of this and the Iiyuw Waas poem as well, so I’m going to be sending them links.

God has brought me before you once again
It’s as if I’ve walked into a warm room
From the cold outside, and the glow alights on
My skin doesn’t matter for once
In my whole entire life
And it brings tears to my eyes

Keep it in context for a moment
For where I come from, a man
Is not one who holds back tears
But knows when it is appropriate to cry

And so I weep.
Tears of joy and of sorrow
Joy because I have seen you grow
I lived through your most trying times
And I have seen promised tomorrows
Become today

And of sorrow.

Sorrow because this season is waning
The golden glow that I knew is leaving me
This stage of my life has come to an end
And now I have to leave

I have watched those before me leave
I have watched how their last year buries them
In work, they detract from you
And they are alone
And I feared that
Because for the first time
I was truly with friends.

I did not want this year to come
And yet now I see
I will not leave you
I have you with me
In memories

You will remember me as the wild and the crazy
Or as the soft and poetic
Or as the fighter for injustice
Or as the artist and designer
Or as the musician and the speaker
I was all of these, and more. But not without you.

I will remember dances in the living room, stomping our feet and shaking our bodies to the dances not of our culture but of that room. Of that time. Of that moment. Of that beat.
I will remember deep talks and long walks and shoulders wet and salty. Of people I have somehow been able to comfort, and of those who comforted me.
I will remember movies watched late, snuggled in blankets, riveted to the screens.
I will remember great feasts of spicy and exotic foods, caressing and exciting the taste buds, spurring smiling faces and gleeful jokes.
I will remember arguments about race, culture, travel, politics and sex. In that place we were free to talk with understanding.
I will remember spiritual uplifting, and profound thought in learning who God was and how we should be around him.
Of trials and struggles, and of celebration and joy.

These I will keep with me.
I have learned much here.
I have learned not only that people can be friends with me
But also how to be a friend
I learned no everyone can be friends with you
Even though you may now why
I learned some will always be you friend
Even though you may not know why
And these lessons
I carry with me

Who are you?
You are ISA/MK
You are Diversity on this campus
You are the minority that attracts the good of this college
You are the feather in the cap.

But you are more.
You are a community
You are the proof that people can unite under the banner of love
While loosing none of their culture
You are the proof that you can make it anywhere
And not forsake the values your grew up with
You are the glue that holds the campus together
You are the salt and the light, as well as the spice and the glow
You may have light, but to truly see and feel welcome, you need a glow
And You may have salt, but to truly get flavor, you need spice

You are more than even you can imagine
And so God has brought me before you again.
I am proof you can do it.
I am proof you can make a difference
I am proof you can survive
I am proof you can love.

And it because of you I am proof.

Thank you.

Occidental Attack

Occidental Attack

April 12, 2004

It’s an excerpt from my Final piece, to be displayed in the Messiah College Art Gallery this Saturday.

Since the beginning, you have divided. You divided religion from faith, then you divided religion into a million different religions, each one different, each one more and more lost. Churches so divided they shun other churches and whole peoples over details insignificant to your faith and against the teachings of your God. You divided faith from work, from government, from life and from love. You divided your work and your play. You divided your government into inoperability. You divided your life into years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. You divided love from sex, sex from passion, and passion from caring. You divided your country from your king, your land from your people, your souls from your minds.
You divided the people you enslaved and killed, and then taught them to divide themselves when you were not around.

And I?

I am in love with unity.
Can you see where that might be a problem?

I stared at the man

I stared at the man

June 29, 2004

Any more description would be overkill.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
The steam from my breakfast wafted up into my nostrils. 2 hotcakes, tasting more like stainless steal than batter… but that was alright, you could coat them with cheap lard and drown them with artificial maple flavour (with added caramel colour) and they would slide right down.
My pitiful pile of eggs cowered in the corner of my Styrofoam tray; their nutrients whipped away, leaving them flavourless, hidden underneath the dripping residue of whatever my preprocessed sausage patty and biscuit had been cooked in.
I bit into my hashbrown, carefully wrapped in a waxpaper sheath so I could not feel with my fingers the half-cup of oil I was ingesting.
I. I had been degraded to this. I, the strong savage adventurer of the great white north, I, who had survived for days on end what was mine to trap in the bush, I, who had lived with the scent of pines in my breath, who was raised by the Naskapi, who was strengthened by the rich meat of the caribou, Canadian goose and lake trout, I, I had been reduced to this. Scraping greasy mass produced filth off a non-biodegradable platter with a plastic spoon and shoveling it into my mouth. I had been degraded, AND by my own doing.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
I had given into the pressure of the giant yellow magnet (that IS what the M stands for, isn’t it?).
Lured off the road by cheap prices, and their shapely African-American ad model smiling widely and purring thickly “I’m Lovin’ it!”™; I had pulled my car into the lot, ordered my food, and sat down on the sticky red bench to ingest. It was my duty. Doing my part. My four dollars and seven cents was making some fat white man somewhere rich. My four dollars and seven cents (one dollar and thirteen cents of which had actually paid for the price of my food) was robbing some delicate mom & pop breakfast shop of the four dollars and seven cents I could have given them for a decent meal.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing who he was.
He hunched over a cheap plastic display case of cheap plastic sponsored children’s toys (not suitable for munchkins under 3) smiling. He smiled down at me, his wide hips emblazoned with the logo and tilted off to one side gauntly. Green signs displaying new salads (in a meager attempt fluttered over his shock of a red afro in the artificial breeze of the air conditioners. His shoes were the same, but now they had been spray painted bright red and garnished with bright yellow laces to match his striped socks. The shoes were no longer a coal-stained brown, no longer had holes big enough to drive a train through, but were still the same shoes. His nose had a spot of red on it, carefully placed to make it seem larger, wider, flatter. His eyes, (though tear stained; his mascara running down his face) sparkled. And his lips. His lips were huge. Shockingly red, they took up over half his face with a monstrous grin.

I stared at the man, suddenly, shockingly, realizing WHO HE WAS.
I got up.
Of course, now they had painted his face white, an ironic mockery making everything ok.
The elderly silvered man with the Windex spray bottle squirted my table as I headed toward the door, and he gave it a swipe with his disposable towel. I threw my tray in the trash, along with all the rest of the evidence of McHotcakes, McHashbrowns, McEggs, McSausage and the Homogenized, Ultra-Pasteurized, Vitamin A&D added McMilk.
And with it’s “Thank You” flap swinging mockingly, the trash can caused me to shiver with what it wore as a crown. The future was before my very eyes, sitting regally next to the mud-brown used trays. A single cup half-empty of watered down Coke. The African American ad woman stood plastered on the side with her African American daughter smiling. And around them, in every language and alphabet one could read the prophetic words: “I’m Lovin’ it!”.