The Unwritten

As a writer I pride myself in being able to put words to emotions which normally would remain indescribable. I enjoy the comments I receive when someone says that my poetry or my blog has spoken to them, has given words to that which they previously couldn’t express. Yet for months I have stared at a blank screen. For months I have found myself unable to describe, only to feel. 

I started this blog to express a journey of faith and doubt: my journey as a once evangelical Christian turned eclectic agnostic. Yet in November I would face the ultimate journey of faith and doubt. In November, I would face death. 

Over the last few months, I have suffocated in silent drowning. I have read horror stories of children who inhaled too much water only to pass hours, even days, later. So was I in the open waters of my grief. Having swam and clawed my way to land within the mere hours it took to drive back home, it appeared to all that I was fine. I played the part so well, I would convince everyone, including myself. Yet for all this time the water filled my lungs. All this time, every breath was labored. 

Wouldn’t it be easier I wondered, if I could go back to the former certainty, to the faith of my youth. Wouldn’t it be better if death was a comma in the sentence of life. Yet for me, death is not even a period. For me, death is a question mark.

My father passed away November first. I found out the next day. November second will always remain the day the stained glass shattered, but a question remains: 

Can I make these pieces in to something beautiful? 


The Return/ The Leaving

I have not been active here in quite some time. Poetry is my “strong suit”. Writing prose feels difficult and I push it to the side. Recently, however, I have found a renewed reason to express my thoughts on the topics of faith and doubt, to return to this place once more.

On November 1, 2016 my father passed away. He was always the greatest supporter of my writing, here and everywhere else. I have found myself wrestling with his loss and seeking to find a way to express myself regarding that. I have written poetry, but I long to write something more. Hopefully I will return in a few days with my thoughts. Perhaps they will help other uncertain souls dealing with that most spiritual of matters.


Red and Green

In the time it took for your barista to make your drink, roll her eyes, and write out “Merry Christmas” fourteen children died.

If Jesus walked the earth today I think he would be far too busy healing the sick, reaching out to the poor, and counseling the hopeless to give a damn what color cup our overpriced coffee comes in.

Rethink what offends you. Poverty, sickness, senseless death, and overfed, excessive self-righteous bickering in the face of all these things is what offended him.

If you want to keep Christ in Christmas: donate. That’s what he did while he was here. He gave. Lattes are irrelevant. Go donate some clothes and gifts to kids in need. Give presents to children in foster care. Give blankets to the homeless. Work a soup kitchen.The only one that you can blame for not keeping Christ in Christmas is yourself, because that’s the gift that is required to keep him here.

The Distinctions Between Selfishness and Self Love

A GREAT write from my partner on self love and why it’s ok (and needed)

World of Wordcraft

One of the first lessons we are taught as children is the one referred to as “The Golden Rule.” Many beliefs hold to the principle that we are expected to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. Speaking for myself personally, I have found it difficult for a good number of years to find a proper balance of self love in my own life.

I have the most amazing partner in my life. She has always seen the best in me, and helps me to discover the man she sees daily. She also gets to see my faults though, and often points out (rightly) that I am not as kind to myself as to others. I will be the one to look at a bad situation going on around me, and look to take the responsibility to make it better. Often I take this effort too far…

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Don’t Outgrow Your Dreams

This goes so well with the theme of self love and why it’s ok that I’ve been reading lately. Check it out

john pavlovitz

Finger Painting

There’s a lot that I can’t do.

I’m painfully aware of this.

Fix things, enjoy small talk, sleep through the night without using the bathroom a dozen times, figure out middle school math, have bangs…

The older I get the longer that list seems to become; the list of things I can’t do.

I think most of us who find ourselves afflicted with the sometimes terrible disease called Adulthood understand this. Over time we’ve gotten pretty good at cataloging our deficiencies, documenting our flaws, and seeing even the most microscopic holes in our abilities from a mile away.

We’ve long stopped being our own biggest fan and have instead taken up residence as chief personal critic.

We’re seasoned experts at self-malignment.

We weren’t always this way though.

I have a 5-year old daughter who can do everything well. Just ask her.

Are you an artist? Yep.

Are you a dancer? Of course.


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Checking In

Work and life have prevented me from writing as I would like, but I’ve missed the thoughts and inspiration I get on here. So instead of forcing something that isn’t ready to be written yet, I would ask instead:
What has inspired you lately? What has been on your mind? What do you want to converse about?

Symbols and Ritual

Today after seeing the cross in the lawn of the church I attended decorated with beautiful flowers I wrote the following poem:

flowers sprout

against the grain,

stretching toward april skies.

where once was death,

now life.

I found myself thinking about religious symbols and ritual and what they can mean to us. Each faith has some items that carry a certain weight, certain practices that resonate with “believers” and help them focus.

I find myself wanting to know more about what stirs the spirits of others. What symbols are important to you? What rituals or practices speak to your spirit?

Easter Morning

The last several weeks I have experienced a bit of writer’s block. This time of year is difficult for me. Painful. It represents a time that used to be full of celebration and certainty, that now is full of difficult memories and doubt. I have wanted to put words to this, to relay what makes Easter so hard for the ex-Christian, but I was not able to do so. I don’t feel the poem I wrote today is the true essence of my thoughts, as it focuses almost exclusively on my hurt, on my cinicism, but I felt the need to give those feelings voice.

Easter Morning:

The church bells ring out from the hill,

words which no longer make me free,

though I try, I’m a doubter still;

resurrection does not wait for me.

For years these hymns made my heart soar,

I sang with pride and gaiety;

now my spirit is craving more.

Resurrection does not wait for me.

How has this day become reversed?

What once lived is now dead to me.

Once it blessed me; now I am cursed.

Resurrection does not wait for me.

The church bells ring out from the hill,

resurrection does not wait for me.

Waiting For Easter: A Eulogy For Jesus

I am a Unitarian Universalist still deeply inspired by Christ. This brought me to tears.

john pavlovitz


Someone recently said that I seem angry lately, that my writing has become decidedly negative, my demeanor abrasive and combative.
(What a stupid jerk.)

For a split second I thought that he might be right, but realized almost immediately what was happening. He had indeed recognized my symptoms accurately; it was the cause that he didn’t or couldn’t understand, because it’s the kind of thing you can’t easily tell from a distance.

My well-meaning friend didn’t realize that in me, he was dealing with someone grieving deeply.

Anger and grief look a lot alike from the outside. They both feel similar when you’re on the receiving end.

That’s what’s been going on here in my heart for a long time; a grieving.

That’s what this faith walk has felt like lately: a funeral for a friend.

I, and so many others like me, are mourning a tremendous loss; one so profound and so disorienting that it’s…

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