Friday, August 28, 2009

Quickdraw and Jude update

Last night, I invented a game in my sleep. It's called Quickdraw. Basically, two people sit at a table facing each other. A stand up target is in front of them with a dart gun attached. The target is shaped like a cowboy with the gun low on the hip. The darts are those plastic orange ones. The players roll dice (one each). When they get the same number, they draw, but they have to use the same hand to shoot as to roll the dice. Whoever hits the target first wins. The guns may be pre-cocked.

I also stayed up late (compared to other people) to finish writing my commentary on first part of the book of Jude. I'm teaching it tonight so I wanted to finish. It's here if anyone wants to read it:
http://jonathandow.wordpress.com/jonathans-bible-commentary/jude/

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Gospel according to Bob Thompson

Pretend there is someone named Bob Thompson. I suppose there may be a real person named Bob Thompson, but I'm not talking about him, but a pretend one. Okay, got the mental image? He's older, about 65ish with a big nose and large ears and a bit of a belly. He's got white hair and works with prisoners in Folsom Prison, teaching them how to read and write and also as an EMT. The day after he retires, he packs his bags and takes a trip up to Sacramento. He walks into the Capitol Building and asks to speak to the Governor.

Of course the secretary says no, but after a lengthy plea, her eyes water up and she checks the schedule. "I think I can get you in to see him, but maybe only for a minute." She says. Bob Thompson thanks her and walks through the office doors.

The Governor is waiting for him. He had been told briefly that a Mr. Bob Thompson was being shown in for a word, but he doesn't know what it's about. "Welcome to Sacramento, Mr Thompson." Greets the Governor warmly. He gets up from behind his desk and shakes hands. Bob returns the greeting, takes the seat as directed, and asked the governor a question. "Do I have a criminal record?" The Governor is confused by the question, but clicks away at his computer for a second.

"No, Mr. Thompson, you don't have a criminal record at all. Not even a traffic ticket."

"Well... I would like to receive the death penalty in exchange for every prisoner in the state of California to be set free."

"What! Are you crazy? Those are criminals!"

"I know they are. I have worked with them for years, and I know they have broken the law, and killed and raped and stolen, but I have become fond of them and wish that they be set free. I am willing to trade my life for theirs."

The Governor, obviously dumbfounded, tries to dissuade Bob Thompson from his outrageous request and talks of how unsafe the streets would be, but Bob Thompson, as politely as possible, pleads with his heart, and the Governor listens. Time goes by, but at the end of the day, the Governor writes up the pardon.

The execution of Bob Thompson becomes a nationally televised event. News channels debate the morality and legality of it from the time the news breaks up until the pronouncement of death. Bob Thompson turned down every attempt to interview, and endured crowds of people hissing and yelling at him as he is transported to the execution chair. He dies of lethal injection.

The pardon is upheld, and distributed to the prisons. It is written in a way to release all prisoners, but if the prisoner's wished to stay, the prison would still receive government funds to take care of them. The Wardens read this pardon and decide not to tell the prisoners. They remove tvs and newspapers from the prison cells and stop the mail from going in or coming out. The people living in nearby towns have protests and rallies in attempt to keep the pardon from going through, saying that they will no longer be safe and the criminals are behind bars for reasons. They don't deserve to be freed.

However, a few prisoners find out about this pardon and demand to be set free. The prison guards have no legal grounds to keep them and tell them to get out, but to keep their mouths shut. But as these prisoners leave, they spread the news of the pardon and tell everyone that they only need to believe it and walk out to be freed. "The guards can't legally keep us in here," they say, "but lie to us to make us think that we're prisoners when we have been freed." Some believed them and left with them, and the guards told everyone else that they were not free, but those that left are going to be punished greater. Many believe the guards and stay in their cells. The ones that are freed find out about Bob Thompson and what he did and it softens their hearts. They decide that they no longer want to be criminals, but everyone still thinks they are and points out their flaws. This causes some of the freed men to stay at home and become prisoners of a different sort, but a few of the freed men decide to endure the criticism of the public an win them over with good works and gentle words. They go back to prison to tell the other inmates that it wasn't a lie, but a truth that they can truly be free if they just believe and walk out with them. Some do, most don't.

This is like what it's like for us in real life. We were once prisoners. A result of sin. We committed crimes against God by loving ourselves and our pleasure more than loving Him who created us. But Jesus pleaded with the Father for us, trading His perfect life for ours, and dying for us. (Only Jesus rose again.) Because of that, we became freed men in prison, being lied to by the devil and his demons so that we think we are still captive. But we hear the truth spoken by fellow prisoners, and we see them lead a different sort of life, defying the guards. Some of us follow, and find out that we are truly free. Once on the outside, we are bombarded by people who don't like us and don't think us worthy of freedom. They think they are better than us. Some of us hide away from them, but others return to where we were once held captive to declare the truth to those who did not believe at first, or did not hear.

Who are you?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Write a Poem.

Writing a poem is easy. It's art. There is no right or wrong in art. You just do it and people can like it or not depending on how they are feeling at a time. Lots of people don't feel like they can write poetry. It's easy. Here's what you do. Take a body of text, a description of something, and remove all the words under five letters. For instance, the paragraph I have just written would be as follows:

Writing.
There right wrong
People depending feeling
People write poetry
Here's
Description something remove words under letters.
Instance, paragraph written would follows.

Make sure to read it with a mystical voice. it's okay as it is, but it works better with description. Think of a meadow in the forest. Your description of it might be like this:

There is a meadow in the forest. A meadow is an area of grass surrounded on all sides of trees. It's green. Flowers grow there. People in love run through it barefoot in slow motion into each other's arms and lie in the grass with their heads together discussing how they will run off and get married.

Now take out all the words under five letters and call it art:

There meadow forest.
Meadow grass surrounded sides trees.
Green.
Flowers.
People through barefoot motion other's grass heads together discussing married.

Don't forget the mystical voice. Congratulations! You're a poet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sleep is Like a Wet Suit

I wear sleep like a wet suit. It covers me when I'm in the depths of my unconsciousness. When I wake, it clings to me and weighs me down. It restricts my movements and I have to shed it like a second skin. Putting it on takes preparation and effort and time. Sometimes I take all day to put it on, a little at a time, so when it comes time to submerge, I'm ready. Other days, I refuse to take it off, but wear it throughout my day, dragging my feet from the weight of it, feeling normal underneath, but slower. The extra padding it offers makes it more easy for me to get comfortable. To sit and rest my eyes as I sink into it. I wear sleep like a wet suit. It makes me feel warm and comfortable and safe. But it is not made for land. I am.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Brain is Clogged.

I'm sorry, but my brain is clogged. I don't know how, and I don't know why. Is this hard to understand?

Let me explain. I have a brain... and it's clogged. It's like water and a drain. The faucet can be turned on and off alright, but it drips. Thoughts constantly fill up my head. Except that when I write, it's like letting those thoughts out of my head and into cyberspace or wherever and everything is good. Right now, I feel like it's clogged. I can't seem to get my thoughts in order, at least thoughts other than the thoughts I'm writing now. But consider this the hairball or whatever that is clogging my brain. I have to address the clogging to get things flowing again. I want to write. I want my thoughts to flow down from my mind, though my fingers and onto the internet or wherever they go, but I'm stuck.

I have a brain... and it's clogged. I don't really know why or how. I am trying to unclog it, but it seems that even when I pull a bit out, it doesn't seem to help. I want to write my thoughts on the book of Jude, and from the book of Colossians. I want to write poetry about someone falling in love. I want to write a story about a man on a quest to find the truth about his childhood because he can't remember. Existence started for him two weeks ago and he doesn't know why. He has special powers. Everything he touches gets better. Old torn paper binds itself, faded or smeared writing is restored. Old people he shakes hands with grow a few years yonger. Children with owies heal under his hands. He starts to doubt if he's human. Oh... and he doesn't speak Englis. He doesn't speak at all. He smiles sometimes, but mostly, he's afraid. He doens't know why he's different, but he knows he is. He doesn't understand that this gift he has is a blessing. A gift without the proper knowledge cannot be applied properly. He's looking for answers. He can help other people, but no one can help him.

I have a brain... and it's clogged. I can feel the thoughts in my head, the pressure against my skull. I'm startingto feel tired, but I don't want to sleep. I want to clear my head. I want to release my thoughts. I close my eyes and see a man. Almost six feet tall. Well dressed. Pin striped suit. Hat. Tossing a quarter... flipping a quarter and whisling. His tie moves. Not the tie itself, but the design. It moves the screen of a video game. It's a racing game. 8-bit. His face is clean shaven, his eyes hidden under the brim of his hat. He's waiting for something. Someone. A woman. A woman with curls in her hair and a swing in her step. She's wearing a blue dress with sparkles. Red lipstick, brown eyes. Also whisling. Same tune. I don't recognize it. Maybe something by Ella Fitzgerald. He smiles. Gold tooth. That's bad. He's a bad guy. Gold teeth are alyways symbolize bad guys. She's chewing gum now. No more whistling. They walk off together, arms around each other's waist. I think she's bad too. Too confident around that kinda man to be a good girl. They just feel bad to me.

I see a bunny, eating grass, wrinkling its nose. The sun is rising, the dew sparkles on the blades of grass in the meadow. There is an old oak tree, standing alone in the center of the meadow. It's branches reaches out as if to shade and shelter as much as possible. It's the grandfather tree. Many birds and animals rely on it for protection, food, and shelter.

There's a boy, eating a sandwich in the desert. It's not really a desert, but a city, but he feels alone. He imagines it being a desert that he has to cross everyday. There's no bus to take him home from school. It's a long walk. He feels alone. He packs an extra sandwich and eats it on the corner of Marshall Ave and Skylar Way. He sits upon a newspaper box. 75 cents per copy. 1.25 for the Sunday edition. He always reads the headlines and ponders them as he eats. Today, he thinks about the growing murder rate in the city. He wishes he really were in the desert. It would be safer without all these people around. It's peanut butter and jelly. The sandwich. He finishes and hops off, crosses the street. A man smiles at him. He has a gold tooth. The boy is frightened and runs the rest of the way home.

I see me sleeping. I roll in my sleep. I hide my face with my blanket, but it's too short and my feet stick out.

Not yet, but soon.