Thursday, December 17, 2009

Religion v. Spirituality

Well, I just spent the past half hour composing only to lose it all when Finale decided to go crazy and close. When will I learn to save?! Oh well...

I have been reading a bit lately, and it seems that questions that have been coming to my mind lately have also been coming to the mind of many others. They are, are religion and spirituality the same thing? If not, is one part of the other? If so, why the distinction? There are many others that come to mind, but these are sufficient to begin discussion.

I believe that Religion and Spirituality are different, but for many people (such as myself) they are so intertwined that they become almost synonymous. According to Jay Michaelson, Aurora Mendelsohn and Alan Krinsky in an article entitled "Religion is actually Spirituality," they argue mostly the opposite point. However, they make an important generalization on religion (in this case Judaism), "Judaism has historically been more interested in deeds, not thoughts, creeds or specific mind-states." Since spirituality is the search for a mindset (according to these authors), and religion is about deeds, there is no way the two could be one and the same.

While I believe that these last points are quite large generalizations, they still serve to show some distinction in these terms that have plagued so-called "New Age" spirituality. Keep in mind, I understand the bad reputation religion gets, some deserved and much not deserved, and I know that this can color our outlook. However, keep a clear mind. I will try now, through my own experiences, to show how religion and spirituality can be intertwined in a life and still serve both "purposes."

I was "raised" Methodist in Northern Austin, Texas. I use quotes because my parents were never really serious about it. It was more that society says children should go to church. I see that. Regardless of belief, children learn many ethical and cooperation lessons while in Sunday School situations. In this way I believe I was able to solidify the "deeds" portion religion is supposed to be based on. However, slowly but surely my parents, void of any Christian belief, regressed away from church and took my sister and I with them. It was not until Junior year of High School that I joined the Southern Baptist Church.

I know what people say about the Baptist Church and a lot of it is very true. The fire and brimstone sermons are a little much, and the music is a little cheesy, but the deeply rooted, internal connection with God that they taught is something I would never give up. There is a greater sense of connection with community and God when the congregation is more involved with the service. Since then I have been working in various Episcopal Churches and have loved it. The liturgy of the Episcopal Church is so beautiful and intense that I immediately fell for it. This and the teachings of acceptance and community led me to lead a better life and have legitimate hope for humanity.

However, it was about this time I began to explore other religions, faiths, and paths to God. It was in this search that I came upon such things as chakra healing, meditation and its infinite techniques, introductions to The Qur'an and the Vedas (I will at some point go into my feelings on the sacred texts). Through this, I have crafted and sculpted my own path to the Divine which everyday grows and matures.

What all this is an attempt to say is, religion, for me, was the gateway into the soul of spirituality. It was through religion that I was able to discover my own true path for God. I am in no way insinuating that everyone's path to God need lie through religion, but that for many it must (no matter what that religion is).

In conclusion, yes, religion and spirituality are different things, and they mean different things for everyone. However, I believe that the battle between which is "right" is pointless. They are simply two paths to the same Source.

God Bless!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moving to Austin

Hello. I haven't written in a long while. I haven't found the time, energy, or material to make a blog post worth it. Well, regardless I need to start writing more. I believe that it is important not only to have a personal journal but also to have a public archive of writing. Something about the fact that, regardless if anyone does or not, somebody COULD read it. This changes the way we write and the content. It's important to see this difference and then use it to explore your Self.

I'm moving back to Austin, Texas a week from today and I am quite excited. I'm going to be helping my mother start her own blog where she wants to post her poetry. From what I have read, she is quite remarkable! However, she writes exclusively in Spanish. Maybe someday I will translate them and share them with the world...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rising Up

The last couple days have actually gone by pretty smoothly. I have not felt overly depressed, and have even experienced some artistic and spiritual energy and inspiration. I love this feeling and will keep and strive for it always. I have been further exploring the trance state and as of now I am still very much a beginner, but I have begun to see the trance state as an extention of the state I am experiencing during deep meditation. To some these states may be defined as synonomous. However, something in my gut tells me that a true trance state is the next step in my meditation and though I may not be able to achieve or even percieve what or how, I know that my deep desire and persistance will soon pay off.

I have been reading Awaken to One and have stumbled upon a series he wrote about Understanding Belief. I was immedietly drawn to read the whole series, but near the conclusion of the first segment, I decided to dwell and meditate on his message. What I have taken from this is a new mantra that I will begin to explore in my meditation, "I accept the perfect manifestation of my art, with the perfect outlet, in the perfect way."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stumbling but getting through

I wish I was inspired as I used to be and I know it will return. Now, however, I am going through a rough spot that it taking all of my energy to get through. Dealing with mood swings by the hour and minute even with my wonderful bi-polar medication is difficult, but the good times are as good as the bad times bad. I understand and feel blessed to be in this place in my life and to be with people who love me and support me through everything. To be able to learn these important lessons (most of which are still unclear to me) is wonderful and beautiful, regardless of the fact that it is quite hard to live through. All of your prayers are wonderful, and thank you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Continuing in Boston

Good evening. I haven't posted in a while for various reasons. I really feel I need to be in the mood to write with any kind of clarity and I must stay that clarity is something I am striving to achieve. It has been almost 4 weeks since I up and left Virginia to start this new chapter in my life and I am enjoying it. It presents me with new challenges and new opportunities for success, at least on a personal level, that I would be completely oblivious of if I had stayed in the hell-hole that Virginia had become for me.

Today has been quite strange. I have been quite ill the past few days with what seems like a tough cold. However, with the new skills and new job I forced myself to work yesterday and today. The last thing I want to do is start skipping out on my responsibilities again. Work was fine, and I have plenty of reading material to accompany me through the various hours of the day and night. However, I miss the social joy that always brought me so much peace. I understand, however, that this time in my life needs to be devoted to my own self-growth and to do that I need to focus on ME.

Meditation has been difficult for me these past weeks since my mind is such a spinning mess, but I was able to effectively balance my chakras and meditate for about 12 minutes. I know this is almost no time and before I left Virginia I had been able to go 1 1/2 hours (still short, but I'm still beginning my journey of meditiation). I should be getting my ADHD meds soon though, so this will help.

I don't know if I said anything helpful in this blog, but it was nice to get some of this off my chest.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dear readers, those who may happen upon my random blog,
I am in the process, regardless of the obvious fact that it is almost 3 in the morning, reading, no, rather devouring Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. A book which I always meant to read. Frankenstein was actually on my list of books to read. A couple of years ago I became fascinated with the origins of the famous fictional monsters of history. Bram Stoker's Dracula was my first endevour, and having an above average reading level, and the intense love and desire to read difficult literature, I loved every second of it. The differences that society, and especially cinema, have changed these monsters (whether making them "scarier" [usually by taking away the humanity so devoted in the originals] or humbling them to leave out some of the more gruesome details) entranced me and quickly moved to Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I must note here that my criticism of the media is not to be taken too greatly as I must admit I avidly enjoyed the 1992 film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" especially for it's attention to detail to the original novel (a lack of attention to movies inpsired by books being one of my worst pet peeves). I mostly refer to the popular depictions of said monsters. However, I babble. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was close to the most exciting work of fiction for such a short narrative (with Of Mice and Men coming in close second). However, soon after my finishing the latter novel, I became entranced with some other humor of the arts and nearly forgot my former passion.
While at Borders, I was unsuccessful in aquiring a book which fancied my current taste (which ranged from Zorro by Isabel Allende to Secrets in the Shadows by VC Andrews). However, as if by fate, I discovered a copy of Frankenstein lying on one of the "School Books" displays (my most avid source of classics) and immedietly was drawn to buy it. It had sat in my room awaiting my attention for almost a week when, while frustrated at my slowness in reading legitamite Spanish literature (in Spanish), I opened Mary Shelley's classic.
I am merely on Chapter 2 and I am already filled with such enthusiasm and pure splendor that I immediately had to reflect on my feelings,the history of one of the periods of my literary life an aftermath of excitement which I find fills my blogs regularly. However, all of this is mostly to express my own excitement as well as to excite the mind of any who care to listen and who may have a love of literature similar to my own.

After all of that, I am excited also to say that in a strange lull of today's enlightened state, I have written a poem. The seeming dark tone of the poem is one that, although not so revealed so far in this blog, is commonplace in most of my poetry. I wish to express to the audience of my poetry that my deepest wish is to distance myself from the terrible description of "angst". Depressing imagery or content to me is simply a mould through which my current mindset must sculpt my art. I believe, however, that with close inspection to this poem in specific, the overall tone becomes one of hope, not despair.

I am afraid to think.
Even now the looming ghostly shadows
of my mind prepare their assault.

To sleep, oh to sleep I must wrap my thoughts
(kindly at first, then insistant)
some desperate
some adventitious

And send them in a balloon

Till they reach those beautiful
edges of sight, sound, and attention
(that percieved humble abode of the Archangel Lucifer
O morning star, son of the dawn!)
which some nights yeild to bountiful dreams.

And in a dream the curtain of sanity may be lifted,
nay, must be lifted,
and the infinite expanse of the imagination,
symbolic, profound, and yet deeply confusing,

alights and sparks the unity and wholeness
fallen from heaven.
O Wisdom of my heart,
seek not death in the error of your life

I pray but this:
Let my life be a dream.

Note: This poem is brand new and even in the transcribing of the text went through various editing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Hello everyone. Forgive my lack of writing but as we all know, many things occur in this life which challenge us in one extreme or another. The past couple weeks have been a mess, basically, and I have been attempting to use all of my coping skills to deal with the things that have happened. I am not so arrogant as to say that I have the answers, for no matter how much we think we are spiritually ready for the trails and tribulations of this world, until you are in the middle of them, you have no idea. I have to say that I was not ready, though all of my work was not wasted for each time I am able to pull myself up (no matter how long it takes). I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason and that God, while giving us complete free will, presents opportunities to grow and learn. Every emotion and event on the "evil" or "bad" side of the emotional spectrum is also an opportunity to grow, even more so than the "good" I believe. It doesn't seem like it in the heat of the moment, but I believe even the horrible things on this Earth are a gift to make us stand up and do something! My blog is very scatterbrained today so forgive me, my mind is very scatterbrained at the moment. I had two very interesting dreams just now during my treasured after church nap. One was some strange events with a man I have feelings for and the other with a quite insane party with my roommate. I kept asking her for more and more candy (not drugs, though they may have been part of it, but literally candy like Skittles). Interesting... I must dwell on this a bit before I can offer myself interpretation.

The title of this post is the title of the piece I'm currently listening to by Ellen Band. It's very modern, and I'm glad I turned it on, because I haven't listened to anything truly modern in quite a few months. I would only reccommend it to those who truly enjoy avant-garde and post-avant-garde music.

Have a wonderful and peaceful day and week. Please accept the gift of my love which I share openly and freely!

-Brian Minnick

PS: Interesting... Despite my own lack of posting in a while, most of the blogs I follow have also yet to post, and if they have, they have done so in the same manner I have. That is, explaining the experience of deep change which is hindering writing (not a bad thing, just interesting). There is something really intense happening on Earth right now. I'm trying to be excited, but I also have a deep sense of uncertainty. Please, I beg you, help one another NOW! We are all going through some tough times and need each other. We are all ONE!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Well here I am, 3:16 in the morning and I'm still wide awake staring at the infinity of this computer screen. I have heard that the light of the computer screen actually keeps you awake. While I believe that this is possible, and probably true, I would much rather be "productive" ("" because I'm usually just refreshing my Twitter or reading articles, lol) than lying in bed with my eyes closed for 2 hours. I've taken my insomnia meds but all they are doing is making me yawn.

Oh well, I've lived with insomnia all my life. The night has become a second home. It is so beautifully different than the daytime. It is so mysterious and so creative. The energy of the moon is so different than that of the sun. I tend to prefer it, if only because is pours creative energy, healing, and mysterious wonder. I just love it.

My new found center has been tested to the extreme these past few weeks and I have to say, as I am only human, I have let the world and its crazy circumstances get to me. However, after some time I am able to find my center again and feel the warmth of the Eternal Breath.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

At School

Good afternoon! I'm at school (George Mason University), and I have some free time so I decided to come on here and blog a little bit to pass the time. The past couple weeks have been difficult, with the new added stress of school, but I feel that my mood swings are getting less and less intense, and easier to control. Luckily, a steady regimen of meditating and spiritual work have helped me achieve a more balanced psyche and body. I had an intense meditation last night dealing with the Sufi mantra Al-Matin, commonly translated a patience. Of course this term is much more complicated, but patience is the large picture that I received. When I was in my meditative state, I allowed the troubles and wandering thoughts of my mind (usually held at bay to achieve clear-headedness) to speak one by one. All of a sudden all of my doubts and woes came through. Luckily, I was able to take each in turn and breath Al-Matin slowly and clearly so that patience would be learned and understood. I actually became emotional during this time (more of a revelatory emotional outburst than one of sadness). When I was finished I felt so light and wonderful. I believe that I now must add time in my meditation to not only reach my calm center, but then to take advantage of it to gain wisdom.

Thanks to HenkTerHeide on Twitter, I have found a new artist who absolutely blew my socks off. These futuristic fantasy paintings will truly make you think. Please don't miss out on experiencing this wonderful artist. His name is Jacek Yerka and I believe this link will most easily get you there. Please let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful and peaceful day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Time to Open

Good afternoon all you brilliant people. I haven't written in a while, but that is mostly because life loves to throw huge stones that one must handle before forward-moving life can continue. Anyway, with the melodies of Anjulie blaring from my computer speakers, I wish to talk about something that has been a huge part of my spiritual growth.

As the title states, it is time to open. Open up to the world, to people, to nature, and most importantly, to ourselves. When we close or hold anything inside, we are not only placing burden's and stresses all over our body, but we are directly and indirectly influencing the cosmos. The human ability to use mirror neurons (neurons in premotor cortex and the inferior parietal cortex which allow humans and primates to copy what they see, or to feel emotions similar to those they witness) is a wonderful and beautiful instinct that help us on a daily basis. However, when we begin to harbor negativity, we have no ability to keep it completely to ourselves (why would we want to?). This negativity, even if it not seen consciously, is transmitted regardless to everyone you encounter.

Please, let us deal with our negativity head on! I once heard on the topic of obstacles (and forgive my paraphrase) that they are one of our greatest tools to reach enlightenment. When we actively pursue to better our lives by facing our problems head on, then regardless of the outcome, we have learned countless lessons. This is a life-long endeavor, and it is obviously easier said than done. Just remember, everyone, including you, makes mistakes, and that is perfectly fine. What is not fine, is when we harbor so much negativity, whether in the form of self-doubt or hatred, that we injure ourselves and those around us.

I have personally experienced all kinds of negativity as I have struggled with bi-polar disorder as well as ADD and ADHD. I have to share, however, that my life has changed in so many wonderful ways because of the past couple months of beginning to explore alternative healing. Meditation and research have shown me so many beautiful ways to explore my mind, body, and spirit.

That being said, my biggest point in opening up is being open-minded. I know that religion and spirituality are less than popular among youth today. However, whether or not you believe in the dogma or practices of a certain religion, we can learn so much from our fellow man. The Bible and the Qur'an are beautiful pieces of literature that can teach us a lot about surviving in a world that seems always out to get you. The teachings of the Eastern religions are powerful and almost magical, allowing one to experience their mind and soul in so many different ways. These are just a few examples of all the wonderful things we can learn from different religions. Try it out, it won't kill ya.

Lastly, this blog post was inspired by my new purchase of The Sufi Book of Life by Neil Douglas-Klotz. It is a collection of 99 Pathways of the Heart. It can be read straight through, or used like an oracle. Each pathway ends with a mantra and meditation that help you meditate on each new aspect of life. I am hooked.

Have a wonderful day everyone and remember OPEN UP!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Strange title, I know. It seems everyone is obsessed with the Twitter Revolution. I myself have found great fun, and honestly, great information through Twitter. I use it every day to find out what my friends are doing, what my favorite stars are up to (since most actually write their own tweets), and to read new articles about things I'm interested in such as new music, meditation, and other forms of alternative healing. It has allowed me a new outlet to express myself and a less stressful outlet than websites like Facebook and Myspace (which I now use infrequently).

Anyway, I wanted to share some new stuff I've found. The American Monk is a wonderful blog where a wise man speaks about various topics including stress, meditation, and personal vision. I found it very helpful, including pursuing his meditation series. The first lesson includes a guided meditation called "The Daisy Pond" in which you create your own world in which to relax. It sounds so simple and yet, at least for me (I love creative things), gave me a wonderful imaginary place to do my meditations. Having just begun I don't know to what I extent I'll use it, but I love the concept and am going to use it. Check it out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

If your on Twitter and are interested in various articles concerning alternative healing and self-awakening, follow VibesUP. They sell something or other which doesn't interest me too much, but they have so many resources and openly share them with the public. I love it.

One last thing. On PLANET UPGRADE, one of the blogs I follow (see left of page for link) I found this. The metaphor is a little out there, but I really enjoy the message.

That's all for now. Have a wonderful day!

PS: I think it is so funny that I keep thinking of new things to say. I guess it's ok to keep updating a blog until your satisfied. I want to recommend a book of short stories. It is called You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett. It is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and some of the most shocking and edgy short stories I have ever read. He has no qualms about hitting you upside the face with some very dramatic situations. Some are more intense than others, but so far they have all been extremely beautiful and worthwhile. Check it out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bruckner and Kingsolver

Well today has been a rather less than psychologically on par day. I have been experiencing some bad depression most of the day, not that anyone really cares, lol. I went to the thrift store yesterday and bought a couple little things for really cheap. I bought a copy of Barbara Kingsolver's A Prodigal Summer, a novel based in an "ardent commitment to the supremacy of nature" (San Francisco Chronicle). I fell in love with Kingsolver's writing with her book The Poisonwood Bible. Her style is almost musical and it really illustrates what seems to be the true meaning of nature.

I also bought Anton Bruckner's Symphony #4 played by the Philharmonia Slavonica, Conducted by Henry Adolph. I just finished my first listening of it and it one of the finest Romantic Symphonies I have heard in a long while. I now realize why the mid-Romantic to the early 20th centuries are my favorite. The style is almost militaristic with its harsh rhythms and sharp modulations. However, I have feeling that is far from what is truly being expressed. I think this because the slower (though no less intense) places give a mysterious, mystic feeling. It is so wonderfully Romantic (no wonder its subtitle is the "Romantic Symphony"). I have re-fallen in love with Bruckner and am at the moment downloading various Masses by him and Rheinberger. Good music and good literature should help keep my spirits up some.

PS: While reading an article on the Trials of Purification, I found a wonderful quote that I would love to share:

"Blessed are those who may enter the trials of purification in a state of awakeness, and who can go through the experience with God as companion, rather than without."

I love this and it has deeply strengthened me. Please read the blog that this came from. PLANET UPGRADE. You can also find the link in the Blogs I Follow Section on the left.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Good afternoon everyone! I'm hanging out at my friend Josh's house just browsing poetry and it put me into a very poetic mood. Poetry is one of my favorite art forms. They are the closest art to music in my opinion, or at least to vocal music. Anyway, my good friend and colleague Zachary Hugo have been speaking of setting some poetry to send to each other to perform. I'm excited how each of us sets these texts differently (we have extremely different styles, but I respect and enjoy his music immensely). As of now we have not chosen a poet, but we were thinking about 3 poems by American poet, Sara Teasdale.

Also, I have a great deal of poetry that I would love to share and just keep forgetting to post it, so here is one that I wrote for my mother last Christmas:


Children are born of such strange seed;
they sprout and flower
and then fly free.

Of hugging deep
and letting go,
and pain of growing things unknown.

The pain is real
Love's hold so strong
Forget me not, oh golden crown.

I walk with strength
Your will is strength
as mermaid tears adorn my back.

Oh sun, my sun, I am your star
and while I may be far from sight,
Your warmth encompasses my garb.

Relationships grow firm with time
connecting with so firm a line
that time and distance become unconfined.

If you must recall a promise,
know that I will always be near,
My heart, my soul, your gift to care.

And if perchance
your heart will speak
it will be an image locked deep beneath.

Though tears have healed
your troubled breast
this vision pure, Truth's beacon bright,

A little child
so meek and mild
abreast to one so strong and kind.

A woman
born in Wisdom's truth
to bestow the miracle of my birth.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stressful Packing

Goodness. Its 5:17 in the morning and I'm still packing. Bijan should be here in about 3 hours. Hopefully I can have almost everything done by then. I am almost done, but the last bits are the hardest. I also am not strong enough to move some of these boxes. Complain, complain, complain. But what can I say, I'm pretty damn good at it. I still haven't ventured to the "how am I gonna pack all this shit in my car." But I think I'll leave that to the packing skills of Bijan. It'll work out, but I'm just not sure how right now. I can only focus for like 5 minutes at a time and I always gravitate back to this empty computer. Wow, what a short post, I guess I just needed a source to bitch into.

Friday, July 10, 2009


A short poem:

Fireflies flickering wild messages behind my eyes.
Birds chirp idly on.
Fences hold nothing back.
Creased branches closing in on my porch.
A child cries out as a streetlight glows dimly in the evening.

Madonna and Moving

I find it so strange that I still feel the need to spend so much time writing in this blog, even though I know that even if this blog ever does get a following, very few people will ever think to look at these past entries. I guess it's the journal feeling of blogging. Even though I have my own personal journal and it serves as one of few solidifying factors in my life, a "public" journal has a whole other luster. Oh well, I will keep writing.

So this is week two of a moving process that not only should have started a month ago, but has also dragged out endlessly. Who knew that moving was such a straining, draining, and ultimately overwhelming process. My friends have helped me to the greatest of their abilities, but their lives are just as busy as mine and so I've undertaken most of this on my own. My dreams the past couple weeks have dealt a lot with protection (of myself or others), reliance, and failure for reliance. I feel a lot of this stems from what I'm dealing with now as I'm vigorously and eventfully trying to become self-sufficient. It really sucks, but as I search in myself and through all art I just need to keep pushing. Who care's what's on the other end of this mountain (probably another mountain) but it should be the climb that I dwell in. I have focused a great deal of my time in meditation and chakra balancing which has proved to be unmistakably helpful. The ability to center yourself and to allow all the aspects of your life to flow equally allows those things that are pressing to be clear while not overwhelming. I have become remarkably better at clearing my mind which has helped me sleep and helped me focus my mind away from those things which would overwhelm me.

Life can not be as bad as I always seem to paint it (or maybe it is and I'm just trying to lie to myself, I hope not). I know there will always be problems and that I will not always win, but I can't seem to catch enough of a break to breathe in between these problems. Hopefully once college ends and I start my career SOMETHING will get easier, I fear not. Anyway, enough depressing talk.

My body has recently needed a huge amount of sleep which has halted be from doing some very necessary things with my day, but if my body needs it, I will not ignore it. I have been procrastinating per usual and have been exploring some new gorgeous art. Thanks to a wonderful artist on Twitter, I have been able to see some of the most cutting edge pop art phenomenons. And, per usual, I want to do anything I can to promote those I like (and there is very little I don't like). This is a wonderful artist named Rob Verheyen ( Please check his stuff out.

Finally, on a whim, I decided to start watching some Madonna interviews from the 90's and found that she was and is such an unbelievably intelligent woman. She speaks of her music like a true musician should. She speaks of trends and cultural influences. She speaks of lyrics and melodic drive. She speaks of the theatrical aspect of music and performance. I already thought Madonna was and is one of the top artists of the 21st century but after seeing this, I see now that she more than that. She created something so beautiful and artistic with the strength and power of her own imagination and those of her colleagues. That is what I wish to do with my life. She is such an inspiration.

Well, I doubt anyone made it this far, but if you have thanks for reading!

PS: Imogen Heap has released her new single which is FABULOUS!! Her new album is scheduled to be released in August. Check out Perez if you want to listen to it

Monday, July 6, 2009


Never live next to a wooded area.Bugs will drive you crazy.
They've driven me to the point of insanity.
You can't open your door for some fresh air.
They are constantly looking for light
and for some reason that light is always in my room,
inside my house.
My skin crawls constantly now and I can't tell the difference
between an ant/moth/spider and the hair on my legs.

Call me insane, call me cruel, but they can all die.
I know they help in nature, but get out of my house!
I have stopped trying to take them outside.
Their tiny brains can't fathom I'm trying to help them.
I don't care if it's bad luck. I have so much of that anyway.
I will kill them all. Ants will feel the sting of my butts.
Spiders will feel the end of my shoe.
Flies will feel the darkness of the inside of my hand.

They are beautiful creatures as long as they stay out of my way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Good evening/morning everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I'm sitting here on the Wick family computer after a suprisingly mild Independence Day party. I barely drank. Some kind of combination of not feeling like drinking, being stressed about moving, and honestly having fun sober, kept me from having more than like... 3 or 4 beers throughout the whole night. It was a good time though and I got to see some friends I haven't seen for a couple months.

Alyssa (Keith's sister) and I, stayed up till now stalking David Archuleta trying to find a picture where he wasn't smiling. It was impossible. We also listened to some nice old and new songs. She introduced me to an a capella group names "Straight No Chaser" who are a men's a capella group out of IU who are very talented. Look them up on YouTube if you have the chance.

I wasn't terribly sure what to write about in this post because truly at 4 in the morning I have no mind opening insight. I have been feeling very uncreative and down lately but lucikly my friend Rachel and I have been able to co-write and produce a new song called "Monotony" (which I will post a link to once we get it recorded to our liking). We are playing with the idea of forming a band called PRE. It helped me through the hard end of the week that I have been having.

Anyways, this post was more an update on my life than anything else, which is fine. I wanted to extend a good article to anyone reading this though. I don't know how many people are into Numerology but the more I grow up, the more I'll give anything an honest go, and honestly there seems to be some truth in it. I read this article (it's kinda long but reading all of it is really good) on a blog called Creative Numerology and I really enjoyed it. Even if you don't believe in Numerology please take a second to read this. It has a very interesting message that we should all ponder. You can read the article here.

Finally, I have been finding a lot of healing strength in my new meditations and I really hope that I can find a way to make it a daily ritual. I just need to stop bitching about everything and get it done. Enough "but"'s. Well it is after 4 in the morning and I have to be up at a decent hour. I will leave it at that. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Albums

Well yesterday was a hot day for the music industry! I was unaware of it until just now, though I say a day later isn't too bad. Two wonderful new albums came out in the States.

Regina Spektor's Far, which is AMAZING. I was not at first a fan of Regina Spektor. I was irritated by her vocal embellishment that not only sounded off, but sometimes painful. The edgy piano and guitar enticed me though. It was not until this past semester when my ex re-introduced me to her that I began to fall in love with her. Her voice had developed so much since the first time I heard her, and I finally was able to concentrate on WHAT she was saying. However, some of my change of heart was due to the fact that her new age vocal techniques remind me of Meredith Monk's Atlas, a modern opera sung almost completely on neutral syllables with strange new age vocal techniques. Enough history though, this album is the best I've ever heard from her. She has combined her naturally edgy style with some amazing beats and beautiful lyrics. She combines her classic mix of intense and piercing lyrics with those which are light and funny. If at this point I had to pick favorites I would have to say "Eek," "Machine," "Human of the Year," and "Genius Next Door." They each entice me for different reasons, but all have a sense of totality that, combined with her simple delivery, create a wonderful experience.

The other album is Michael Johns' Hold Back My Heart. I did not even know about this man until today when I was reading David Archuletta's blog and saw it. He is very soulful and smooth rock. I really love it, though I'm having a hard time concentrating too much on the message (a symptom I often get with entertainment music). His diction is a little strange, but its not too hard to get what he's saying. It inspired me to look at some about who inspired me. This led me to downloading The Very Best of Changing Faces, a compilation of works by Rob Steward and The Faces. They are really wonderful and very chill.

I also began my work with the chakra healing kit I received and I'm quite excited. I read through the chapters on the Root, Sacral, and Solar chakras. I did the exercises suggested and am now more convinced to the existence of the chakras. I also tried one of the deep meditation exercises and it was quite relaxing. It sped through what each chakra represented though and with time and more knowledge in each chakra I will be able to take better advantage of these recordings. I can not wait till I get into some of the subliminal affirmations because that sounds absolutely fascinating.

I should go to sleep. We'll see how well that works, lol. Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Good evening all. I am still very unsure as to the readership of my blog, but I have faith that it will eventually bring forth a decent readership. Until then, I will continue to write as I would if I were writing to a large audience. I have very recently becoming more interested in the working and writings of chakras and their balance. I will comment more as my knowledge increases. However, I feel that if much Eastern thought is connected to these main center's of energy, I should took a closer look. For the healing of the clutter of my mind, I have found that Eastern ideology has been extremely more effective then what Western culture has to offer. Damn, I am being picked up to go to dinner. I must end this blog short, but when I talk about chakra I will surely go more into this idea of Western vs. Eastern (for don't get me wrong, I love them both).

Have a good night everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I have had quite a wonderfully productive day. Though I woke up quite late since my damn sleep schedule is so off, I was able to go to campus (George Mason University) and sing through and polish two of the seven Schumann Liederkreis which I am to perform on my senior recital in November. I also finished Orson Scott Card's Shadow Puppets, much to my delight since it has taken me almost three times the amount of time any of his other books have. I have now moved to one of his earlier novels (his second) entitled Treason which seems increasingly beautiful and remarkable as I turn each page. I also allowed myself the time to study the beginnings of Barber's Vanessa and Anthony and Cleopatra. I am unfortunately still awake, though I must wake up and be legitimately productive tomorrow (i.e go to Financial Aid and look for a job), but thanks to the ironic nature of creativity, my consciousness at 3:40am has inspired a poem. Please do not be hindered by the unsteady meter (many of the phrases, if you re-accent the syllables do create meter. Some just lack it). I tend to mix my meter quite often and am, at least now, blaming it on my own unique style. But enough apology, here is the poem:

Dream a Melody so firm
that Earth and Sky begin to form.
Then Harmony to crack the Stone
and Rain to heal it's saddened soul.

Hum the Song to bring forth Roots
and Wind to some day cool it's leaves.
Hum louder and the Birds will learn
and Insects, less, and yet immortal.

Sing the Song and Man will Build,
will Dream,
will Kill,
will Worship, and Die.

Then be the Song and the Universe
will soon know who you are.
Music as your eternal Soul
shall guide new Worlds to discover their own.


PS: Thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I have found a really wonderful artist that I must spread around. Her name is Fang Ling Lee. Please check out her work, it is absolutely phenomenal!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Weird Deams

Since I went to sleep at a decent hour last night (10:30ish) I was able to get up at this completely unreasonable hour, lol. Anyways, I need to get out the details of these trippy dreams before I forget.

1) It is the end of the world. I have two choices: go to another planet (I have this option because I am part of some higher class family), or I can stay on Earth and either fight for the army or fend for myself. I actually (thanks mind) am able to know the outcome of both choices. If I leave I am talking with my friends about how ill-suited I would be for the army and then find myself in a strange bathhouse, most of which gets sexual, and most of which, honestly, I don't remember. I just remember a lot of red. Anyway, the more interesting is if I stay. I discover my sister has chosen to stay as well and I say that I will protect her. We go to an abandoned warehouse. Then my vision switches to these two people in a car driving by. One man and one women, but in their mid-twenties. An oil-tanker cuts in front of the man who is driving and immediately pulls over and threatens to kill the man. They are now under a tunnel and I can see a small office with a women sitting at a desk under the bridge. The man walks off and the woman follows. When the women reaches the other side of the tunnel she sees the man take out a needle, as if he is going to shoot up. She starts to sneak backwards towards the office and she notices she too has a needle in her hand. She slowly opens the door to the office (I now see through her eyes, not third-person) and mouths the word help. In place of the women at the desk the man stares at her wide-eyed with at least 5 needles sticking out of his upper and lower lips. It was such a disturbing image I immediately woke up.

2) I am at some summer camp and at some point I end up getting locked in the manager's office for multiple weeks with someone else. We trash the place since we have to rummage for food. Before we realize it, our camp has left and a new camp settles in and the head leader, a nun or something like that, comes in and lets us out. I then go to the movies and see this preview for a movie, but soon I become the man in this preview. I have the ability to take a part that is missing from something, and, with the help of any animal in the area, I can find the whole that the part is missing from. I spend a long time doing this for various people even though most people think I'm a fake. I think I've gone crazy. Then I realize that I am in an elevator, and I think to myself, "If time-travel is not possible, how has this elevator been going full speed down for the past 11 hours?" I realize that I am not showered and smell awful but I have no way to change that. The door opens and a couple people walk in. One lady in particular shows finds it difficult to show her not show her disgust. I am unable to shake that fact that I still think I'm nuts and have this power. I don't remember trying to use it again though. This is all I remember.

3) I am part of a large choir. My old high school choir director is leading us. We are singing this new piece that was quite modern, but simple and accessible at the same time. There are four soloists and I am the tenor soloist. I sight sing decently well, but not perfectly. Still it is acceptable and I absolutely fall in love with the piece. I only wish I could remember the actual musical content of the dream or I'd write it. So we finish and my director asks a bunch of the men to leave cause he doesn't want us to hear the next song. I have no idea why, since he then says (though it may have been a joke), "Your going to play the piano." I find some of my friends outside and we talk and start hearing them sing. Strange oh well.

Wow, I'm so glad I can remember my dreams again. There was a good bit of time that I could not. I hope this keeps up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ugliness in Music

Hey all. I was planning on writing another semi-lengthy piece. But I'm quite exhausted and so I'll only give the highlights of what I want to talk about today.

Let me preface this but trying to allow you to understand that while musical taste (as in taste in all art)is a very real thing, the majority of the population takes it extremely for granted. Taste to the masses means what they are used to, or similar to what they are used to. In other words, comfortable. How are we to grow as intellectuals if we stay in our comfort zone? The only way to truly broaden our musical experiences is to leap headfirst into the unknown, not just take a listen and say you don't like it.
People who know me will probably know where I am heading. I am speaking specifically (though no exclusively) about modern art music. Music for so long has been a creation of beauty and relaxation, which it most effectively does. However, music is so much more rich than just that. While plenty of operas and orchestral pieces have touched on the subjects of grief, pain, and death, it is not until the 20th and 21st centuries that music began not to examine or comment on these hard topics, but to actually create them through their music. While pain and suffering has been around since mankind began, as therefore as long as music has existed, the modern centuries have experienced new and more powerful negative emotions due to modernization and industrialization. I feel that even with the great leaps that tonality has evolved, it is still unable to grasp the horrors of modern society.
The general point I am trying to make is that if music has the ability to portray almost perfect beauty, then it can, and in my opinion, must portray the ugly. When you allow your mind and ears to open to the understanding that all music does not have to make you feel good, then you can breach into a new realm of music. If something about a piece makes you feel uncomfortable, instead of pushing it aside and saying it sucks, think about why the composer wrote it that way. Any real composer has a reason, and when you understand this premise, you can begin to unravel its meaning and fine a new beauty in the ugly.

I'm sorry but I am too tired to go on. Let me just challenge you to take that next step into the unknown, and if after serious thought and contemplation you still find yourself not into the music, then fine. I only ask that you give every piece a chance. Regardless you will have experienced something new and you will learn.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fiction vs. "Reality"

Good morning my non-existent audience. I have just finished reading Shadow of the Heagemon (sp?) by Orson Scott Card. The book is not terribly important to what I have to say here but I strongly recommend any lover of sci-fi and also any lover of good writing to read Ender's Game and the subsequent books. I stray. I mention this book because occasionally Card writes an essay at the end of his book that he masks as an "Afterword." They usually consist some of how and why the book was written including sources and influences (very helpful for anyone wanting to futher pursue some of the advanced concepts he deals with in his writing). However, much of this "Afterword" deals with various concepts of human nature. Do not overlook science fiction writers for they have some of the most intelliegent minds of our world.
Card's books allow me to further open my mind and educate myself in humanity on a personal level, in the ways humans interact closely with one another, with humanity as a civilization, and (do not take this lightly) humanity as a species. I will not get into any of these because this is not the purpose of my writing today, though I feel that it gives appropriate background.
Wonderfully ironic is the fact that I grasp completely different things from the book as a work of fiction and from the essay as a work of "reality". I hate to use the word reality for I feel that fiction is its own reality. Without it, the individual human mind could not share each unique version of their imagination. This would truly be a mistake as we can only fully learn about the world by interacting with others. The fact that Card's fiction is only an imaginary manifestation of "reality" is only relevant in our mind's digestion of the concepts. I have found that, due to the fact that it is indeed fiction, I can declutter my societal and personal expectations of touchy subjects such as religion and politics. This allows the reader to not only learn about new ways of thinking, but (even if only on a subconcious level) allow the reader to relate to these new thoughts in new ways. An essay or lecture, which inherently carries the title of "Truth" can cause what seems to be an automatic shut-out of the concepts (again even if only on a subconcious level) (i.e in one ear out the other) if the concepts are contrary to what the individual believes as "Truth." Fiction has the ability, since it gives an odd sense of saftey, to more deeply influence the way we percieve the world. An essay could be devoted to just this concept, but suffice it to say that, in my experience, this stems from a masterful writer's ability to create a believeable character. We therefore relate on a personal level to them even though we are well aware (though even I find myself lost in each fictional world) that they are not "real."
However, as stated earlier, essays have a unique way of teaching that can also help progress the way we believe. The fact that essays, usually, are written specifically for the use of human development (while fiction can be often coined as entertainment) allows a more direct and blunt expression of ideas. This directness is what leads people to drastic changes of ideology and therefore is a very effective means of expressing ones ideas. This directness also plays with the reader's subconcious by implanting a firm concept (dependent on the writer's ability to adequately express and the reader to comprehend) which, after a matter of minutes, may fall out of the concious mind and therefore be subjected to the yet undiscovered parts of the unconcious mind. This often reveals itself as important questions we ask ourselves that seem to sprout out of nowhere or as sudden impluses in stressful situations. The best example I can give for this is a personal one. I am a devout Christian but in no way does that limit me from reading anything and everything that draws my interest, regardless of whether the Church deems it worthy. This often leads me to reading essays which blatently deny ideas that I hold dear. While bothersome at first, I have learned by now that the more I know, the better, regardless of how it makes me feel. Such is usually the case when one leaves their comfort zone. However, soon these contradictory ideas leave my concious mind to pursue something else, yet in no way do they suddenly vanish. Then, at a later date, questions seem to arise out of nowhere which make me question parts of my belief. Interestingly enough, however, they are not always directly related to the reading which has originally implanted the contradictory idea into my mind. Thus is the mystery of the human psyche. What I have found fascinating, though, is that rarely do these questions destroy my existing beliefs. Rather, once I allow myself to grapple with both, they further flush out what I already believe into something more personally coherent.
At this point I must allow myself to take a detour. In no way am I judging my readers' open-mindedness. I myself strive every day to be as open-minded as possible for we all see the world differently and we can all learn from eachother's unique views. I am merely stating that regardless of how "open-minded" we percieve ourselves to be, we all believe what we believe. Our own society has been influencing us since birth (and science has proposed to say before birth), long before we are concious of ourselves. Therefore, our unconcious has been working and working to structure our beliefs before we even knew what beliefs were. A wonderful Antrhopology teacher I had in undergrad once said that we can never objectively study our own society due to what she termed the "pink-shaded glasses." The term basically refers to the fact that we may be able to anthropologically express our own society in some aspects, but due to our natural growth in said society, we can not see many of the unique qualities that a non-native would see. All of this is merely to say that we can always strive to be open-minded, but until we are willing to put our most natural and basic beliefs on the line, often which we are unaware of, we can never truly question our existance.
Oh the irony of my mind. This whole essay did not turn out as I planned. I wanted to focus this essay on an element of essay writing that became concrete to me after reading Card's essays. Card is very opinionated in what he writes and he rarely (unless he is attempting to comment on something which is truly far from his field of knowledge) appologizes or sugar-coats what he says. This is fascinating to me because I always had the impression that to reach the vast majority, those appologizes were necessary to keep people happy and reading. I now realize that these appologizes only serve to discredit the point that you are trying to make. I therefore am trying to be more blunt and direct without appology in my essays and I believe I have taken this idea to heart through this essay. If someone is offended by or disagrees with something I say, then go ahead and refute it. I don't ever pretend to know it all. As I stated earlier, the best way to allow our minds to expand is by our interactions with others. Therefore refute away, because even if we both disagree with eachother, I have still left my kernel of knowledge in your mind, and you have left yours in mine. In fact, if this is truly an important aspect of the way we learn from eachother, then a direct statement will more likely yeild a response and therefore begin the cycle anew.
Not that I expect many people to have the patience to read to my ramble, but I really believe that the unique and equally important aspects of fiction and essay, when understood, can allow new levels of knowledge to build. Afterall, awareness is everything.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Singing at School

Today has been such a wonderful and lovely day. Weather-wise that is. Emotionally I'm pretty decent though. No crazed Brian running around trying to find the meaning of life, lol.

I did want to talk about reading though. I know that in this day and age, reading has taken a back-seat to gaming, tv, and various other electronic passtimes. Not to say that each of them is not widely entertaining (I myself find myself spending way too many hours on my DS), but I am saddened by the lack of avid readers I meet. Reading is an entertainment that is so radically different from electronics that I'm confused as to why more people don't involve themselves in both.

I believe that this is partly due to the education system. We are given all of these wonderful works of literature and then time limits to read it in, then tests to show our knowledge. While I understand the necessity of both of these items, I am sorry to say that they seem to be the main reason I feel reading is falling out of this generation. While I didn't enjoy EVERY book we were given in high school, I enjoyed the vast majority of them and am grateful to have been exposed to them. However, I admit that I too was caught up in the boredom that is rushing to read a required book at midnight the night before the test. I found that so many of the books I now know and love dearly are those that I was not forced to read, or if I was forced to read them, they were damn good, lol.

As to a solution to required reading, I'm at a loss. Reading should absolutely be required, but the way that teachers present it so that psychologically kids accept it more fully is a realm which is way over my head. As for tests, I do have somewhat of a solution. It is not new or unheard-of. In fact, it was used in quite a few of my upper level English classes. The idea of the circle discussion is a way for kids to openly talk about books (and even become interested) while still allowing the teacher to judge if the children were actually paying attention. This is achieved by giving the kids a minimum number of times in which they are to bring up a point, and a minimum in which they are to respond to other's points. This allows kids to think of the book more fully and in context, as well as allowing them (and even the teacher) to learn new points of views.

Personally, I'm a reading nut. I devour books and am constantly in search for the newest of some series or author. I love looking at large literary contests (Noble Prize and down) as well as questioning my friends to create my reading lists. I am pretty openminded as to what I read, but I enjoy modern fiction and fantasy/sci-fi the best. Anything that will stimulate my imagination, however, is welcome on my bookshelf. I am currently reading the Bean or Shadow stem of the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card (having already finished all of the Ender stem). I am also reading, for my modern fiction, Falling Angels, by Tracy Chevalier (the author of Girl with a Peral Earring). I am eagerly waiting for a new Ursula LeGuinn(sp?) book that was nominated for the Mythopoeic Awards. Its probably quite short because it only cost me $1.80. I had to have it.
Well thats probably enough babble for today. I don't expect many people to read what I write anyway, but on the slim chance someone is interested I like to express my ideas.

Have a good evening!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Welcome to the Mirror Neuron

This is a place of poetry, music, art, and dreams. I will attempt to be my own mirror neuron, as well as yours, and humanity. Not that I expect that I have that kind of knowledge, but I will try, and through this experience maybe we can all see something new.

I'd like to start my blog with a poem I wrote last semester as part of a 4 part set entitled "Reflections on Insanity."

I. Dance

I dance headfirst onto the moonlit river,
swollen stiff by Night’s deep sting.
I step out of pain, and anger, and grief,
a collision of psychotic esteem.
I dance, though my feet are bloodied and sore,
for the body is easily ignored.
I step from the anguish this moment presents,
and I will dance till it is no more.

Darkness lingers.
I have collapsed and the spell has past.
My body is broken, yet my mind shines clear.

There is no moon, though I stare wide-eyed
and hoping for a star.
So terribly far and yet warm and near,
I hear a campfire crackle.

My senses alive, my body returns,
and as if in deep sighing,
my corpse trembles.
With great effort I sit and examine existence,
though my stomach grumbles with greed.
I rise and must grab a nearby branch,
for these feet will no longer hold me.

A cry, from behind, breaks through my abyss.
A call, “Who is there?” out of terror or worry
(or both as would I turned around).
I respond, lungs on fire, “It is I, though alone.”
then with ice, “I am free of my thoughts,
though blood soaks the snow.”
My soul alights at the thought.
“Go home, young stranger,”
my companion replies,
“for the wood and the cold
will break body and mind.”
Silence, the suspicious stranger, delights in these moments
as conversation disappears into the night.

However, strangers scare easily and soon the voice returns.
“I know not who you are, nor your purpose in this wood,
but I am of good heart and His eye never strays.
If shelter you seek, my cabin lies near.
If hunger clouds your mind, I have small fish to eat.
If you are hurt, cry out and I will help you to your feet.
If ill you seek, go home, sore demon,
for your spells are not welcome here.

What then am I in this puzzling maze,
my home a thousand miles, at least, away?
I surely am starved and my pantry is empty,
but masculine pride dispels this temptation.
Are the welts on my feet, soaked fully in slush,
terms worthy of injury’s call?
Demon, so sharp and spell-binding a word,
am I human or beast or some denizen
from the pit below?
My dance was of grief, self-destructive at most.
If spells are made thus, he should have no concern.

In the still I finally shout my reply,
“Thank you kindly good sir,
for your offer of plenty
and may He who you speak of smile bright.
I am but a traveler disturbed by the night,
and my journey merely fancies in a fool’s plight.
Rest safe, gentle soul, for your kindness protects
from the gambling of those down below.”
Then further away, an echo so shy,
“A fool gains strength in Fate’s blind eye.”

Fate indeed, I am able to shudder
before I sink back into my madness.
No cold, no blood, no spell, no dance,
only the comfort of dreams.