Monday, July 25, 2016

They're finished...and so am I for awhile...

Hello everybody,

I am hoping God's best, mercy, love, goodness, and fullness of joy to you this and all your days.

So ... if you didn't know I have two GINORMOUS tattoos on my forearms (...had to add some color to my personality at one point in life if you know what I mean - plus as far as reminder notes go...tattoos save on post-it notes in the long term).

WELL - I am finally getting my right arm finished today.  

After today, both arms will be full and have some symmetry (I will work on symmetrizing my brain for my next undertaking).

(1) The tattoos will always represent to me Loving God (right arm):

Cloud, dove, and cross represent God - and underneath is written "Love" - because - God is love.

The open hands with pierce marks has a verse written in it Isaiah 49:15-16 which says: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget,I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."

So God is saying that the love He has for us is greater than that even of a mother's for a child - which is the purest and strongest love we know between human beings when it is operating out of a mother's heart as intended. That's pretty cool to this guy.

There is also a banner above the hands that reads "In His Hands" - because we are all in God's hands, all the time, even though it doesn't always feel like it, God's always "holding us down" - just like gravity - whether we're aware of it or not.

AND so what I got added today was a banner above the dove that says "Vaya con Dios" which means "Go with God" in Spanish - AND in the stain-glass portion of the tattoo, encasing the cloud, the dove, and the cross I got the 9 attributes that constitute the Fruit of the Spirit: Joy (the red lipped smile), Peace (the peace sign), Patience (the turtle), Self control (the samurai sword) , Kindness (puzzle piece), Faithfulness (dog ... I know cats aren't!), Gentleness (teddy bear), Goodness (a thumbs up)  ... and Love ... was already there ... because again, that's not just an attribute, that's what God IS in God's very essence (from what I've experienced).  And so that's my right arm:

(2) My left arm represents Loving People and so - from top to bottom:

The top and bottom banner read: "We're all equal" (top banner) - "As God's children" (bottom banner).

The stain glass in the middle: The "EP" stands for "every person", and, starting at the top of the stain glass and going clockwise - the red hoody represents clothing, the bee represents food and pollination, the blue water jug represents water, and the chess piece represents knowledge. 

Because EVERY PERSON deserves clothing, food, water, and knowledge and they deserve to "seize it all" (Carpe Omnia Latin banner in the middle).

I am really grateful I lived long enough to allow God to complete these tattoos from my FIRST RATE tattoo artist - David Boisineau at Absolute Art in Richmond, VA.

It's gotten to the point now where I would not get work done by anyone, unless it was David - so I have never been good at art, but I'm happy to be a canvas to such a great artist. 

Thank you David - appreciate you and your work more than I could ever put into words.

So ... my tattoos are finished ... and so am I for awhile ... 

I'm going to try to focus on my new jobs for awhile, finish my "pre-writing" reading list ... and then start writing again - a story I want to complete (only about a third of the way done of a rough draft right now) if God wills it.

But I am going to try to take a break from posting and blogging for a while.

If I get back on Twitter though - I am going to again refocus on sharing other people's things - I got "love bit" by someone for about the past 7 months (like real "love bit" - not the fun and poppy emotional kind, and not the sappy girl crushy kind I've felt before ... but the painful and heart wrenching and soul purging kind ... the real thing ... never thought that was going to happen, but it has, so I am dealing with it the best I can...) - but I will again keep her to myself as the star in the sky of my heart - my "musa ultimum" and spare the rest of the world from that part of myself for awhile. 

Just know dear heart that God has chosen to give my heart to you for you to take or leave as you see fit - and it will be yours to take or leave as long as I'm on this earth to give it from near or afar - giving my love always ONLY in whatever ways are best for you. 

THAT being said - when it comes to romantic love from me ... it may be best from afar for any woman. 

I'm like a popsicle - good from a "cool" and distant place - but will melt in your hand, and make a mess in it - if you hold it too long. 

Or a firecracker, a good show from a distance - but a Grade A missile from too close a proximity. 

I'm like a burning building, get the light from me while you can, but the building is going down...just because the yard looks good from the street, doesn't mean there isn't a good amount of dog poo in the a nutshell...I have more baggage than an airport terminal.

What I am trying to say is...I love you. And because I love you I want what's best for you. And I am not convinced that I am what's best for you. 

But if you do ever need me, I will always "meet you half way" in any way I can, as long as God gives me a breath and a will on the blue and green speck we call "home for now".

And that's all the blues there are to play from my end about all that jazz.


For everybody ELSE, ANY ONE reading this - brother or sister of humanity - whoever is reading this - know that I am loving, praying, and hoping only God's best for you always AS always - one day, one breath at a time as we all just keep throwing coal in our own ways to keep the train of this world on track with goodness, and truth, and love - which the world needs now more than ever.  

To each and every person who reads this: You are vital to this world. You are the only you that will ever exist, and are the only one in the places to touch the people around you God has put in your path. 

Love where and when you can, however you can now, in little ways - little things make the big things ... just ask a pizza ... but your love is always needed by someone (including loving yourself when needed) - in some way - all the time. I promise.

Just know that "when I'm dreaming, you know I'm gonna dream, I'm gonna dream about the time when I'm with you [THE PROCLAIMERS]" and praying for and loving ALL OF YOU - all the people of the world - as often as I can. One and all.

Love, forever and a day,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

...Til the end

So - I have been reflecting and thinking for a bit (never a good combination for me...just glad there is anything going on up there most of the time, and grateful that I don't have to change the bulb out yet).

And here is my life goal, for whatever is left of it.

My life goal is: to HELP more people in this world than I HURT - while I am in it - with whatever time I have left.

I don't know how good a job I have done of that so far ... of helping more than I have hurt people that is to say.

I will leave that up to a more objective jury (I wouldn't even trust myself to judge "America's Got Talent" but you shouldn't either - trust me about that!), and someone better than me at math - I can't add up a math equation let alone a life ... I'll leave that to the calculators.

But that is my goal, to have been more help to the world and the people in it, than I have hurt people and the world we all live in.

I am grateful if I have been of any help to anyone.

And I am sorry - to the point of death - if I have hurt ANYONE in ANY WAY at ANY TIME.

Thank you. Forgive me. Respectively. And BOTH from the very bottom ... of all of my heart.

And I pray by God's grace, that will be the case that I have been of more good than bad in this world, when it's all "over and done with" for me.

But time will tell.

I try to trust myself as little as possible, trust God as much as possible, and not care about what anyone else thinks as long as I have done the first two to the best of my ability.

Now - there have been some bumps and bruises along the way - but like fruit - when it comes to me ... I just hope you eat around the bad spots (...or make your own pie out of the scraps - it's hard to mess up a pie if you make it yourself...but if you do mess it up, at least it's your own mess, and most people like their own mess than that of others, even though the truth is we're all messy somewhere ;)

It's like Lucky Charms: I bring the the bland cereal - and God brings the marsh mellow dudes ... and I just hope the marsh mellows God provides, makes it worth putting up with the dry crumby stuff I provide in someone else's bowl ... whether that be through interaction, or service, writing, or otherwise.

No man or woman is as good/or bad as his or her message. They are only men and women, and it is only a message.

The only messages you can trust are God's - from God's heart to yours, as often as they are given, and as often as you seek them.

Love people ... but trust God.

Love yourself ... but trust God.

Love and Trust God ... above everyone else ... because it is only God who gives us to each other, loves us through each other, and connects us all together in the first place ...

God is the roots and we are the fruit ... but there is no fruit, if there are no roots.

God be with and bless EACH and EVERY person - who has, who does, WHO EVER WILL exist - with all  the fullness of God's love, mercy, and goodness filling all your days, and in all ways.

Whether God is picking you up from falls, or carrying you forward in life, it's God's arms all of us are always in, individually first, and collectively second.

May you always know - no matter how dark it gets, no matter how bad it seems, even if you feel abandoned by the whole world, abandoned by yourself even - the truth is - you are in God's arms all the way ... forever and a day ... and that YOU know that truth better than you know anything else in existence or consciousness ... THIS is what I pray.

Love, ALWAYS through the God who IS LOVE, and in every way,

"Vaya con Dios para siempre"

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quote about Death

"No man who is fit to live need fear to die. Poor, timorous, faithless souls that we are! How we shall smile at our vain alarms when the worst has happened! To us here, death is the most terrible thing we know. But when we have tasted its reality, it will mean to us birth, deliverance, a new creation of ourselves. It will be what health is to the sick man. It will be what home is to the exile. It will be what the loved one given back is to the bereaved. As we draw near to it, a solemn gladness should fill our hearts. It is God’s great morning lighting up the sky. Our fears are the terror of children in the night. The night with its terrors, its darkness, its feverish dreams, is passing away; and when we awake, it will be into the sunlight of God."
George S. Merriam  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

All a bonus from here ...

Whew … it’s a pretty amazing incident for me to be writing this at all. Never thought I’d get this far honestly – just in terms of being alive - but I am so grateful.

Two verses come to my mind as I write this.  The first is 1 John 4:12: “No one sees God, but IF we love each other, God lives in us, and God’s love is made complete in us.”

There are so many people in my life that I would not have made it without – at all – period. Including (but not limited to) my mom and dad, my sister, and also her husband…my aunts, uncles, cousins…my best friends, and all my friends…and anyone God blew in my path.

 I just I hope I gave to any of you, what you all have given to me in life, up to this point and beyond. Thank you.

The other verse that comes to mind is Psalm 115:1 which states: “Not unto us, not unto us O Lord, but to You be ALL the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” This has been true in my life, as well as the quote of the philosopher and theologian St. Augustine, “Work as if everything depends on you, and pray as if everything depends on God.”  Thank you.

 [A lot of hard work and prayers ... more prayers than hard work ... but a lot of both praise Jesus!!!]

Now that I have that out of the way – I have a few final comments to make.  Social Media has been around in prominence since my junior and senior year in high school [I went to high school 2003 -2007] (many a season back at this point for me … my leaves have long turned from brown to grey since then … no not that long … but I do think I saw a white whisker the other day; anyway if I didn’t get off point at some point, it wouldn’t be me writing!).

And I have had Twitter, which I just this past year [since January] started using again heavily, since 2009.  So I have been one of the many to see the evolution and the infrastructure of digital and social media go from kids making a rocket ship out of cardboard, markers, and Scotch tape to something that could actually fly into ‘space’ (from a capabilities and global connectedness standpoint).

And I’ve been through ALLLL the waves of social media with my own personal accounts – posting too much – posting too little – not knowing what to post … being very active on it … abstaining from the whole thing for long stretches of time (I think the longest I was away from social media was a year).

It is interesting to be writing this post now because I just finished a book by developmental psychologist Howard Gardner and Katie Davis called The App Generation that studies how “apps” (and social media in general) have affected this generation (and the subsequent ones) compared to generations past.

The main theme of the book [as is said in way other things, about way other technologies ]  is that: it’s not the technology that’s good or bad … it’s how it’s used that matters (Like C.S. Lewis says, “I guess we don’t need to be taught so much new things, as reminded of the old ones” … as for me, my grandpa used to say I would “forget how to breath if I had to remember how to”).

So social media and “apps” can augment and add to our creativity, social connectedness,  and intimacy … OR supplant those things we value most in our relationships, caging us behind a screen with fingertip bars … simply depending on how we use and interact with the resources and tools we have created.

SO anyway … I really didn’t know what the heck I was doing on Twitter, or the point of it … ever. 

What I have tried to do is post more of quotes and things that uplift and inspire me AND the biggest thing I’ve done this time – is try to SHARE and like and “RETWEET” other people’s stuff.

It seems so simple, but sometimes (and I am just as guilty of this) we get so enamored and feel what we post is so important, we forget that other people have good stuff out there too!

Now – don’t get me wrong, there are some GREAT re-tweeters out there for sure … but sometimes it seems that people are more concerned with being their own butterfinger (or heath … heath bar is good too) – or “thing” – then just being another topping on someone else’s ice cream.

To me – it’s most fun (and most beneficial) to be both!

Be your own topping for sure - BUT ALSO - spread the love on the cone WITH the other sweetness and toppings you find there too (sorry if I made you hungry … I always use food analogies even when I’m NOT hungry).

My re-engagement with Twitter didn’t come without some bumps and learning curves though. I am not used to garnering “followers” – but – I found the more I would share and like other people’s stuff – the more followers I would get!

But there is a danger to this I had to learn the hard way. Apparently there are a lot of “scammer” or “fake” profiles (for all sorts of things I’m sure) but specifically in my case were really pseudo-beautified porn/supermodel people.

One of these (I think her username was @pedraHINOJAS or @piedraHINJOS … the account has since been deleted I believe) almost gave me a virus!

As I was looking through my e-mail on my smart phone I saw a new follower, clicked on it with my fat finger (...matching my fat head which almost got me into this mess in the 1st place), and got a malware message!

Blessedly, I took my phone to my service provider, and they said no blood – no foul … I was virus free (…wish my doctor would say the same…just kidding…bad joke).

So moral of the story … don’t open up sketchy Twitter follows on your phone e-mail … also I guess it is true “artificial intelligence can’t make up for natural stupidity (i.e. me in this case).” And, "if it's fool proof, it just  means you haven't found a sufficiently talented fool" (i.e. me again in this case ... PS got those two zingers from this website ... very funny site: ... except for the racist and overly misogynistic jokes in the later pages of that website ... I don't like those ... digression becomes me) ] 

At this point though, and highlighting more positive aspects of my Twitter experience, I must admit, that there was a particular movement that influenced my higher degree of re-engagement and “pea-cocking” (in terms of fluffing some feathers and posting more) on Twitter since January.

 #ItAffectsMe is an AMAZING mental health campaign started by Laura Darrall (check it out by typing her name or #ItAffectsMe your Twitter search – or better yet – here is a link: ) to raise conversation and awareness of mental health specifically in the UK - but in reality - everywhere!

How I stumbled upon the #ItAffectsMe campaign was through a British actress named Antonia Thomas - who I started following on Twitter of my own volition - and who I had watched in such shows as Scrotal Recall (hilarious btw…so glad it has a 2nd season!) – and then also watched in Northern Soul, Hybrid, and Sunshine on Leith (probably my favorite so far).

I am forever grateful that Evie, Angela, Steinmann, and Yvonne introduced me to Antonia Thomas and her work J

As much as I enjoyed (and do enjoy) her and all her work though, I fell short of getting any tattoos of a film actresses’ movies on my person this time (…to get THAT reference in full … refer to THIS post from 4 years ago - and FAIR WARNING - THIS POST IS ANOTHER SITTING IN ITSELF. If you do take the time though, I am sure you will get as good a laugh out of it as my friends [good friends btw right?] … anyway here it is for any interested: )

But – more seriously – I fell in love with Antonia Thomas as an actress and her work,  and just the normal boyhood/celebrity crush storm I have well-weathered and navigated many times before (I'm a battle-hardened and much more Stoic hopeless romantic at this point). At first I just loved her for her work, but when I saw her do her own #ItAffectsMe selfie post it made me love her as a person too.  And it was the bravest, most inspiring thing I had seen on social media by any “person of status” (celebrity, politician, business person, etc.) – period – the bravest. It connected with me personally, because of my personal and family past with mental health trials and tribulations.

I am just going to close this part of my post by saying directly to her – Antonia Thomas – whether she ever reads this or not is not of concern, but it being said is.

You helped me become more outgoing in social media, and in life since that post. You are a true  “Heartist” meaning (to me anyway) - that - not only are you a stunning and dazzling and important artist in your own right – but you inspire others to do their art as well - even if it's just the art of living life itself.

So thank you for - myself and I’m sure hundreds, maybe even THOUSANDS (and one day I am sure millions) of others you don’t even realize - for being that strength and inspiration. Thank you for being my courage when I needed it.

I will always love and support your work – BUT – more importantly – I will always love and support you as a person.  And I will hold you Ms. Antonia Thomas (and Laura Darrall, and the whole #itaffectsme campaign) in my heart and prayers, as long as I have a heart and prayers to be had, hoping for God’s blessings, love, and best for you in all capacities, and through all times. That is the truth.

So what is there left to say? That’s it … that’s my heart for right now … and I don’t know what’s next for me – God and people have carried me farther than I ever thought I’d get … not for a degree but in terms of just being alive … I sometimes think about how I could and should be dead – but I guess in honesty that’s the truth for all of us. Whether you use a golden toilet or a white one, it all flushes the same (…little gross, but at least it wasn’t a food reference, bet you’re tired of those J ), any of us could go at any moment, and so we have to make the most of every breath as they're given.

One thing I am going to do – is take a Twitter hiatus.

 God be with, bless and save all of you who stay so active on Twitter. It is exhausting!

 I am inspired by all the posts and positivity – just because it is harder to find positivity on the internet and social media – doesn’t mean it isn’t out there.

Find what’s positive, uplifting , good, and most importantly loving;  Like it, retweet it, and use it in your own life.

I don’t think I would have the strength of character for celebrity - even if it was given to me - or constant active Tweeting … real life is draining and crazy and an adventure enough … but God bless you all … you are always in my prayers - one and all.

I guess the best way to end a long dissertation, speech-like, spout off, rant is to steal some goodies from another person right? [what else has college taught me besides learning how to take and cite other people’s work … that and how to develop every legal drug addictive habit just to get through the whole racket to begin with … last sidenote … for this post … promise]

So I don’t know what’s next for me – I will always read and write – it’s just what I do, and what gets me through. I hope people enjoy and read what I write, but if not, I will write anyway, “good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”

And I hope to use my Psychology degree at some point and work with kids in some capacity – either counseling or teaching – or if not kids, grandparents, or people struggling with grief or trauma … anyone really – we’re all God’s children – and we all need each other, so as long as we are helping each other doing ANYTHING – out of love – then we are doing exactly what we are supposed to from my view.

I like the quote from the movie Keeping the Faith - with Ed Norton, Ben Stiller, and Jenna Elfman - where Edward Norton’s character says, “It is very important to understand the difference between religion and faith – faith is not about having the right answers.  Faith is a feeling … faith is a hunch really.  It’s a hunch, that there is something Bigger connecting it all, connecting us all together. And that feeling – that hunch – is God.” 

I agree with that personally.

And stealing another - albeit separate - goodie, Shakespeare says, “All of life is a stage and the world its players.” I presume that how it works is some people are Romeos and Juliets, or have talking or “bigger” parts to play … but I’m like a tree on the stage … just happy to be on the set at all (…someone has to keep the sun out of Romeo’s eyes!).

And I love and am so grateful for art…art above all things – film, paintings, music, books – and my ability and access to those things has been more than I could ever ask for, and most undeserving, and I will enjoy those to the capacity that I can; but I believe less so going forward; at least in the near future.

We – and I – are so plugged in all the time to what WE are doing, to making OURSELVES SMILE (which there is nothing wrong with, you have to know when to make yourself smile) … that we forget to help others find their smiles too.

Art, God, people, love … a good book, sunset, romance, tragedy, comedy, painting … make me smile.

But I want more people to smile with me. People who don’t smile now…people who are hurt, suffering, beaten, who would hit the “off switch” in life if we came built in with one (trust me I have been there before) … I need to take some time away from my own smiles, and things that make me smile … and make sure that I help anyone I can who is not smiling – to smile with me, to smile with us, to smile with God.

What is it to smile … if you don’t have anyone to smile with J … so let’s smile together...all of us...or at least give it our best shot.

If there is anything worth believing in life, it is, I believe that - like Christ – the pain, suffering, and torment of our crosses (individually, and collectively) in our lives….are worth the promise, hope and joy of our resurrections and restoration to come. That belief is what’s gotten me through anyway.

That – and the Viktor Frankl quote that says in effect (not verbatim per se): “Between what happens to you and how you respond is a ‘space’ [an internal space I have always taken it to mean]. In that space is a choice. In that choice is either your stagnation OR growth as a human being.”

Said another way … you can’t control the crap that happens to you in life … but you can control if you flush it/waste it, or make manure and growth out of it (…a little less poetic, but more pragmatic an illustration I believe).

If you want to know purpose to life...find out what you stand for – love, God, family, unity – find what you stand for … hold it in your heart … and be willing to die for it … and maybe even more scary … willing to live for it.

We're all going to end up in a 3 x 6 x 8 and stand before God ... so let's make the most of life - individually and collectively - in the meantime between time...

CHRIST is my pastor.

The world, and EVERYONE in it, is my church.

 And LOVE is my religion.

These are the “stars” I aim for, but I often land on the “clouds” not quite getting there and often failing … but trying at all at least gets me unstuck from the muck from not trying at all.

And I hope you will join me in the religion and the "Divine Law of Love" as Tolstoy puts it … not perfectly, but the best you can … one choice at a time – always striving to do the most loving thing towards God, towards others, and towards yourself – as often as you can.

Here’s a quote I think anyone of goodwill and love will agree to end on: “Love everybody, trust few, hurt no one.” [William Shakespeare] … He continues to be a hard one to top in terms of quotes and wisdom, and these words are as good as any to live by…and THANK YOU for reading J

Here is to aiming for the stars ... and hoping to land on some clouds.

God bless, God be with, and Godpeed, to all, always,

Friday, May 6, 2016

Electricity and Outlets...

God is like electricity ... elemental and powerful and life giving ... both, powerful, good, and sometimes dangerous. And the universe is like a house - that God (the electricity) provides light and to.

ALL of creation is either inherently "plugged" in to the outlets of the house through which the electricity can run (like nature, animals, etc ... that by which their very nature are doing what God intended them to do).

WE as humans have unique choice though ... we all come with "built in" cords and plugs to "plug in" to the house's outlets (outlets might come through people, personal revelation, music multiple things daily in our lives we either use or pass by that connect us to the transcendent and true realities of life), and be connected and have the electricity run in and through us.

By being plugged in we are connected to the "circuit" of life and the universe ... BOTH being our own individual creation and source of light with our individual cords AND being connected to the circuit and electrical trail of God/the universe by being plugged into "outlets" in the house.

BUT we have a choice to not be plugged in too ... and try to run off our own batteries if we want ... which some people like to do ... even though they have cords - WE ALL HAVE CORDS - whenever we want to use them ...

Personally, I prefer the cord method, but the other option is there too ... for me though, I find that when I am plugged in is when I have the most peace, joy, and strength to deal with life ... but plugging in is a daily choice (a moment to moment choice) and sometimes is difficult - as troublesome pests and mean people can trip up or unplug you sometimes ... and no one can be plugged in ALL the time ... you just have to try to be plugged in more of the time than you're not to have as much light and power shine through you as possible ...

The best part is though, you're not doing it alone :) ... you're plugged in to everyone, and everything else that is plugged in as well with the Electricity that runs through it, and us, all.

Anyway ... just some musings ... just watched a Ralph Waldo Emerson video on SCHOOL OF LIFE youtube series, so this exposition is most likely a result of that.

Keep "pluggin" (...get it :) ... my dad says, "just because I didn't laugh doesn't mean I don't get it" ... thanks Dad) -- Love Kozy

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Both/And" OVER "Either/Or"

Start living your life on a "Both/And" instead of "Either/Or" principle ... and not only will you have found how the world runs on its fundamental principles ... and you will find joy as well.

BOTH love AND peace to you ... always.


Life as Pizza...

I'm not sure if this is original or not, probably not totally, like Kirby Ferguson says in his TED talk from several years back,"everything's a remix" ... but I think a lot about life ... and a lot about pizza ... so see if you like this analogy:

Life as Pizza

God is like:

(1) The Bread and Crust - the Founder of the universe, who is the foundation off which the rest of the pizza is built.

(2) The Sauce - The Spirit who runs through the whole thing unseen, but gives that flavor that only really makes a pizza a pizza.

(3) And The Cheese - i.e. Christ, who is the fullest revelation of God [the surface] who came into history so we could put a 'face' to God - and holds the rest of the parts together in a coherent form and framework ... that coherent form ... being like a cheese pizza of course!

NOW - humanity - WE - are the toppings.

Toppings in the sense that we ARE individual and unique (having our own shapes and flavors) as God adds us, and maintaining those individual properties - BUT - no less we ARE part of the PIZZA as a whole.

So we BOTH are our own individual toppings AND are a part of the pizza of life/of God as a whole.

No analogy is perfect of course ... but I like this one, and its sentiments ring with a quote from Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath:

"A fella aint got a soul  of his own ... just a piece of a big soul ... the One Big Soul that belongs to everybody." [Tom Joad Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck ]

....Also....I just like and think about pizza a lot.

God be with and bless as always,