What did I expect to find out here?

“Just knowing you’re half-way alright.. makes tonight okay.”

Ok, so one half of me is above the water, and the other, partway submerged.

The rain is continuing to fall,

yes THIS is a raging storm.

Can you really leave me here like this,

alive, but maybe not for long?

Can you really let me stay like this —

so lost, alone,

and far away from being strong.

**

“What is a mind, if it doesn’t think.

What is a heart, if it doesn’t feel (or.. “beat,”- my substitution)

What is a voice, if it doesn’t speak —

Be heard.”  Celebrate Black History Month.  It was poem, on a mural, on a wall.  We drove by, I.. wrote it down.

**

This is just a word-for-word account of yesterday’s entries, made in my hardcover, handheld “journal.”

Rewind your frame of mind,  for only alittle while, just a tiny space of time. ~

Sitting in the Georgia Dome.

We all want to be the most important person..

we all think that we ARE “the important person.”

And what makes you special?

Your briefcase?

The white, flowy dress that graces your delicate features, that tries to hug but only hangs on your thin, frail body?

What makes you so different?

The green pants you wear in this sea of skirts, the tattoos that rage and scream from your arms?

What makes you superior-..

the silence you keep, when everyone is talking.

the pain YOU CAN FEEL, when

the whole wide world is laughing?

–We’re all flesh. 

Although we don’t dress it the same..

We’re all just flesh –

so stop starring in your own show,

imagining this one-of-a-kind beauty,

you’re proud to say “is yours..”

and PLAYING games.

(Margins: Wishing you were here. I could smile through this pain, I would smile in this chaos. ; I feel nauesous ((very correct: nauseated)).  People just don’t get it.  Who are you? Have you ever known?)

**

[Moments, maybe hours, later]

On the way home from our 2nd day at the General Conference. 

It was neat.. we (Jan and I) pretty much spent the whole day exploring; viewing the exhibiton center, and walking the long and seemingly endless corridors.  We had lunch (she, cheeeeesy pizza; me, vegan fajitas) and dessert (Starbucks).. met and were photoraphed with Doug Bachelor.  Also saw Shelley Quinn being filmed.  Pretty neat.

Got a DVD called “New Beginnings;” it teaches/instructs you how to give/ present studies on the gospel and salvation.  (as a “side and after” note, I walked up and received the LAST english set available.. God is so good).  Jan asked random (important looking/ foreign/ famous) people for signatures and I took pictures of them, for her.. I also took pictures, of other things, for me.  We passed out only afew “These Times” mags today.   Most of our targeted audience (meaning, whoever we stumbled upon with literature in our hands) were receptive, especially: a group of 3 ladies from NY and 2 Nigerian men.  One woman refused,- inquired if I was with the SR (Yes, ma’m) and, upon my honest answer, declined.  I sat down next to her.. asked her if she had ever studied the message before.  “No.” 

She had just ‘heard a lot’ about it.

**

“For Just Afew Moments..” (I like to title certain experiences, thoughts, and ideas, before developing on them)

Jan and I returned to the car at 3, but Stanford and Cara weren’t there.  We waited for about an hour before leaving the parking lot.  Wandered back into Building C,.. climbed some stairs and found ourselves just outside of

the ballroom.

We entered.

There were only afew, just a handful of people inside the large area, two of whom were setting up sound equipment. 

There were so many chairs.. row after row of them, all silent, anticipating, waiting.  The stage was black, but I could make out the form of a big, beautiful Steinway piano (Okay, so I didn’t know it was a Steinway until I sat down and my eyes met with the gold lettering). 

I dared to ask, very hesitantly, if I couldn’t play the piano alittle before “showtime.” 

He didn’t object! So thrilled, I walked down the aisle, mounted the stage, and, step by step – meekly, slowly, and deliberately – moved all the way toward my ivory lover and sat down upon her bench. 

I sat there for probably 30 minutes, playing my heart out, just certain, God was at work! I was going to be ‘discovered..’

and even if I wasn’t, and no one else was listening,

I was being blessed, “and doing my best” / “in my effort”  to bless others.  Both.  🙂

It’s amazing, in retrospect, how.. despite the little amount of talent we have in regards to/ connection with  ‘something,’

we have such a great love.  A huge love.  Such big dreams, high goals, far-fetched ideas.

It’s like we believe – we want so much to believe – that people can see into our hearts and feel the

depth of our longing, recognize our sincerity, understand our desire.. and that they will take us,

with our small advancements but big potential, and nourish, assist, promote us. 

Being idealistic, is beautiful.. but isn’t it also tragic?

We’re so optimistic..

and so, we’re going to be so let down, in the end.

For just afew moments,

I felt the light pour down on me.

For just afew moments,

I heard the cry of each black and white, piano key.

For afew brief moments,

the audience was mine..

For just, only a

moment

I could find the sense in life.

I could feel a peace inside.

I could see, and know,

the darkness

and the light. -ARR

The end.

It’s today now, the day after, the present (which is a gift.. I was reminded of this yesterday by January.  She loves quotes and just as much as loving quotes, she loves SHARING them.  She secured my attention and then, said smoothly and brilliantly, “Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present – that’s why it’s called ‘a gift.’ “)

Chris and I were up late, again, last night.  Til after midnight.  Discussing, religion.

Seventh-day Adventism, the message of Elijah, what’s right, what’s wrong, who is right, who is wrong.

I was very emotionally distraught, whether he realized it or not.  And yes, I went to bed “half alright.”

I guess that was good enough; maybe, it just had to be.

Was woken up early this morning.. hearing the soft voice of a tiny, petite, fragile little French lady,

cooing “iz tyme fahwr worsheep,” gently running her long, slender fingers across my cheek.

It always makes me smile.

I was never woken up like that, growing up.

It was always an alarm.. or a loud voice.. a dog barking, a doorbell sounding, or a ringtone, playing, screaming at me.

And even though it was lovely charming and sweet,

I reallyyyy didn’t want to get up. 

“Why are they so BOSSY?” I demanded inside of myself. “Why do we have to get up now?”

Haha, so rebellious.  All of us hate restraint.. I’m guessing teenagers especially so.

We haven’t been “broken” into the reality of life yet:

you’re never entirely free.

Hmm.. that’s a pretty strong statement, isn’t it?

Doesn’t Christ make us free? Why yes, but then, aren’t we, as His servants – sons and daughters – to do His bidding? Isnt a check placed upon our desires, purposes, thoughts, actions, lifestyles?

and you cry out “We are capitalists!”

Why yes, we are.  But isn’t there a minimum wage? And aren’t there governmental permits and licenses and this and that and the other?

I hardly know what I’m saying.

All I know, is that we’re never, entirely free.

Even if it’s only to ourselves that we’re slaves.

But yeah, we got up out of bed, put our hats on and stumbled into the living room.

I sat on the couch, I partially sang the songs (inbetween yawns), I tried to read with feeling and

moved myself to the middle seat, where our French classmate Cara could read along as I read aloud (it’s easier for her to comprehend that way) and I knelt in prayer with the rest..

but then, I returned to the room

and layed back down.  Jan did, too. 

And we slept til about 12, an extra 4 hours.

I needed the rest.  Last night exhausted me; emotionally, even more so than physically.

Today, I opened up abit to Brother Stanford about my situation, my concerns, my fears, my frustrations.

He actually gave good advice.
“Put God first.  He loves you more than anything.  Say ‘Lord, let your will be done’.. and really trust Him.”

I mean, haven’t we all heard that about a million times before in our lives? If we’re christians, I’m positive, yes, we have.. but today, it just made more sense than usual.

It actually penetrated —

through one ear,–

into my MIND,

and then all the way down to my heart.

I always thought.. if you were alone, you would be alone.  I’m realizing.. it doesn’t have to be that way.

Whatever happens,

whoever comes into my life for just alittle while, leaves angrily [or parts peacefully]..

whoever stays for a long time, for 30 years [or forever]..

whoever returns my affection, [whoever spurns it]..

whoever I find unity with [and whoever I must ‘agree to disagree’ with] –

life, is just a long journey of taking

chances.

The one constant, is God.  No matter what.. I know who I am.  I know now..

God, I’m yours.

And that means, I’m as free as I can be: free to be,

me.

Stanford.

Maybe he isn’t as judgmental as I’ve always thought he was.

Maybe he actually, just cares.

-Aun Aqui

“Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow.”

 
“Careful now.

You’ll hurt yourself..

Careful now,

you’ll hurt someone else.” –Copeland\\

 

The last words I ever heard from David:

“Get your life right with God before you ruin your own life or someone else’s.”

I hope I’m not ruining anyone’s life..

I hope I’m not hurting anyone at all –

emotionally, spiritually, physically..

but I guess we can’t ever be completely sure.

It’s been on my mind recently.

EGW says that, we sooo underestimate the import of what we say and do..

that we give it a moment’s notice buttt that it’s consequences, it’s influence (our speech and conduct),

can make such a profound, long-lasting impression, like we wouldn’t believe.

That’s why, the more Christlike we are (which comes by “beholding;” by spending time with the one we desire, so strongly, to emulate), we won’t have to worry about “guarding” ourselves around people.. ie, censoring the natural us.. “I would usually say this but, wont in his/her company”.. or “Hmm this is something I probably SHOULDNT find funny or amusing, so, I’ll pretend it disgusts me..” and just, whatever. The list goes onnnn and on.

I don’t like being two faced, and I don’t respect PEOPLE who ARE (two-faced)..
who pretend.. who fake it.. who

put on a show

and let the world smile, smile and nod.

who put on a show

and start believing they

really aren’t messed up

when they completely and thoroughly

are.

**

So the 59th GENERAL CONFERENCE of Seventh-Day Adventists!

What’s it like, what’s it like..

Well, it was interesting.

The air just.. breathed of being “important, urgent, official, momentous,” and

“silly.”

Really, .. I don’t know.

I’m not even going to say anything, because I know NOTHING of politics and religious organization.

But to me.. all of the technicalities of it.. of sects, divisions, and branches/ denominations of Christendom.. just seems, ridiculous.. unnecessarily confuddled.. too programmed. I mean..

I don’t know. Boundaries, consistency, a clear standard, a united front, goals, strategic “planning..” is all good..

but I don’t know. Religion is just too debased sometimes, torn apart and layered.. too shadowed by.. formality, and business, and blehh.

See, I told you I don’t know anything.

Moving on.

The conference was being held in a hugeeee auditorium (usually rented out and used for sporting events.. I’m guessing basketball, since that’s one of the only indoor sports). There were THOUSANDS of people there, just THOUSANDS! It was incredible. I know it’s good to keep your eyes closed while praying.. (right? isn’t it? well we all seem to believe it’s proper and fitting. why? I have my reasons for believing thus.. that yeah, at some times, during certain prayers, it is good to keep your eyes closed.. but why do YOU think it’s so customary?) but.. I just couldn’t resist opening my eyes afew times, to just, take in the scene: thousands of Adventists, with their heads bowed, eyes closed.. faces deep in concentration.. ahh, it was nice. But, there was so much noise. The boisterous and crowdy flow of people entering in was constant.. a just, never-ending stream.. and so, there was really no point in which total peace and quiet prevailed – no no, it was very far from such an atmosphere. But that’s ok!

Anyways.. about 30 minutes before the close of the morning program, me and my classmates (or, my classmates and I, I don’t care – whatever floats your boat) headed out to the car to retrieve the lit-filled boxes. We walked aways and “pitched our tent” (purely expressional; there were no tents involved, not even one.. only boxes, with their contents, and us–human vessels, workers).. and yes, began passing out literature! cds, magazines.. all of it filled with present truth: The connection between Obama and the papacy, Daniel 2 study, the woman of Revelation 12, the 144,000, found in Revelation 7, the purification of the church recorded in Ezekiel 9, a “Thy Kingdom Come” study on last day events and God’s purpose for His church, Zechariah 6 “The Great Paradox of the Ages,” “The Latest News For Mother” on Hosea chapters 1 and 2, and so on.

There were many people who were either indifferent or receptive – yes, this class composed the majority. There were, however, afew who were somewhat.. rather.. rude;.. unkind, impatient, unwilling to reason or “give you the time of day..” and there was maybe ONE “staunch” opposer:

A gentleman who walked by afew times, calling out random insults.. “Deception, deception!”.. and who eventually stationed himself about 15 feet away from where we were standing, on the opposite side of the road, and who stopped groups of people and WARNED them, as they were approaching us, to refuse anything we were offering to hand out; that we ‘weren’t Adventists.’

The funny thing about people like him.. is that they refuse to sit down with you and discuss why, from the Bible and SOP, you are “sooo wrong.” They will talk up and down about your error, scream at you day and night, spit out the meanest insults and blurt out the strongest and most passionate reproofs and condemnations, .. but all without reason, without kindness, without sincere regard.

It was.. abit irritating, really, although I manifested only a kindly christian patience and love towards him.. my classmates and I were completely unoffended, not frustrated, and not upset.. it was honestly, just silly.

Dont you have something BETTER to do with your time,

kind sir?

These people, need to study for THEMSELVES. Your investigation, and findings, conclusions, and prejudices, – whatever — will help them in NO way. Stop standing IN the way, as the Jewish leaders did in CHRISTS day. They “entered not in themselves,” and those were seeking to enter in, “they hindered.”

Anyways. I’m all about personal.. studying..

I mean, if you’re following “man” – meaning, any human; minister, family or friends – you are certain, sooner or later, to be misled. It’s just bound to happen.

For you to NOT study something, for reason that a certain someone has TOLD you not to OR WARNED you that it is falsehood, treason, unscriptural — “wrong..”

would be just as reasonable, as for you to

ACCEPT for doctrine/ in faith something that THEY say “is” true without YOU confirming that the saying is so. See?

Ok, yes.

Moving on..

It was a lovely day. Passed out a lot of “stuff..” praying that the Lord will guide all who read or listen to the material..

it was hot out. Atlanta, is a hot state!

But thank God, the wind blewwwwww at us.. (yes, so strongly, that a couple sisters lost their hats momentarily – – the cherry toppings just went flying right off their heads! beautiful).. and it was soothing, cooling.

And this evening, Jan and I made, spaghetti.

We’re more seasoned, as lady cookers, everyyy day.

Ah! I was also reunited with my beloved this morning! Jose had Charlie transported in the TRUCK from NY to down here, and I picked him up from the house the brethren are staying in. It was so great.. just, taking him out of his case and reconnecting. I sung quietly to myself.. didn’t intend for anyone to hear or listen, but, Brother Nephtali and others seemed to enjoy the musical sounds, so,

yay.

Going to sleep now.. after I brush my teeth.

I just had to let you know I was going to (clean these pearly whites) —

didn’t want you thinking I was gross or anything.

-Aun Aqui

oh, PS. I think, again, religious people are just so crazy sometimes. That’s a “duh, everyone knows thaaat” statement,

but really!

Yes, today was Sabbath.

Ok, beautiful, wonderful, glorious..

and Brother STANFORD, after realizing we had run out of toilet paper, in the afternoon, said we’d just have to wait til sunset to buy more – a fresh supply. … sunset, here, is like 9.. PM.

Ok, listen.

I’m all about BIBLICAL Sabbath observance, but COme On! Toilet paper, is a necessity. Don’t be silly. Luckily (rather, fortunately) we did find a.. “roll..” (I abhor speaking of any and all things bathroom related; major phobia) of it here around his (absent; out of town) sister’s house.. but just the principle of it, kind of bothered me.

Also, two more things:

Jan and I have been reproved twice now for not wearing a head covering during our prayer at meals. I think that it’s unnecessary. Yes, we’re admonished, in Corinthians, that women SHOULD wear head coverings when praying or prophesying.. but I wouldn’t consider, thanking God for a meal, as.. a real “prayer.” I dont know; thoughts..? It seems trivial, legalistic, to go out of one’s way to put a hat upon their head for a 5-15 second ‘thank you..’ but, than again, to be fair, is it not recorded in the Bible that Abraham’s faithfulness in the “little things” was accounted to him for righteousness? Where is the middle, folks?

Where is God, in alllll of this?

And last of all.

Jan and I wanted spaghetti for supper (and the insignificant detail has resurfaced, reappeared, once again!)..

and Brother Stanford said “Well, you’ll have to cook it after sunset.” … since when, has filling a pot with water, turning the stove on, and throwing, tossing, placing, dropping dried noodles into it been

“heavy labor?”

Pharisees.. would have bothered me.

Keeping it reaaaal,

-Aun Aqui

Every pretty picture, and every song.

[ June 4th, 2010 ]

And how am I to see
beyond
these black walls.

And am I supposed to be
someone who
should
be alone

And can I really believe
that a heart just like my own
Could committ itself so fully,
could give it’s all in all

Is there a reserve
that you keep hiding beneath the surface
that is covered with flowers,
words,
  and presents?

And if I look away
and then I close my eyes
and IF I wake up in the morning
to watch the sun rise

Will I be alone
like I now anticipate
or will you be there beside me
will your love remain?

If you’re there, please hold me
and if you’re not, I know
that i’ll find on the pillow beside me

a flower, a gift, a song.

Because every song, it sounds like you
and in every picture, I can find your smile.
and Every day, I promise, I look for you
and find success maybe “once in a while.”

I hate the intermittent,
I hate the inbetween.
I wish you’d say you’re sorry-
goodbye-
and
just

leave.
-Aun Aqui

So yes, improv prosing is an enjoyment of mine lately.
Today, was nice. 

Jan and I (along with our two other classmates) practiced presenting Daniel 2 studies.  I felt like I did pretty well, praise GOD!  The transitions were smooth, the thoughts well developed and fairly well supported.. my only concern is that, naturally, expressing myself very heavily physically (with gestures and movements), I think I can be a distraction.  So, I need to keep that under control.. be more aware of the audience and encourage questions/ inspire interaction.  Also, there’s a fineeee balance to be reached:  blending humility with confidence, and harmonizing friendliness with “professional” behavior.  The instructor pointed out that I needed to be abit more.. was the word he used, solemn?  SOBER.  That was it.  Be sober, Amber Rose. 
So yeah, it’s pretty interesting.. I’m learning about teaching techniques and, really, just how to communicate and share with other human beings in an intelligent and effective way.  The science of the mind. 

I still feel abit displaced, but, it’s neat how resilient we mortals are!  I am adjusting, accepting what I cannot change (for, though not bound, I simply cannot leave here.. it’s where I know I should be right now and to leave would be to displease God and let the exaggerated “everyone” down).  If this is His purpose, I will not stay His hand.. and if this is His purpose, neither would I WANT to (stay His hand)!  God knows what is best; I must trust Him.  This is practical faith, brethren.  Talking trust, and faith.. so easy.  We have that DOWN.
Practicing it?
DOING it?
That’s a wholeee different world.  And right now, I’m in it.

So yes.  I took some nice pictures yesterday, some NY photography.. out in the boondox, so they aren’t city shots — instead, life in it’s natural beauty and simplicity.  A tree.. a dead snake.. wood.. a leaf and flower bunch (friends).  Yep! 

Well, that’s all for now.  These updates must be boring for YOU.. but, they help make sense of my life.  Journaling is like, shoe strings.. and life is the shoe.  Or, journaling is the pie crust – and life is the filling.. or,
journaling is a book,
and life is it’s contents.  🙂

haha, duh.  -Aun Aqui

Maybe I don’t even know her anymore.

 Woke up in Atlanta, Georgia this morning.
The next week.. will bring with it opportunity for character development..

the exercise of greater faith..

the sacrifice of reputation,

manly approbation,

respect,

self.

***

 
Today, is Friday. So we’ll rewind to, Wednesday.
Wednesday was the day class was cancelled, and Jan and I went out to town, blah blah..

[That evening.]

Well, I had been wearing a sad countenance.. just because, I take life very seriously –

the pain of people, places and things.. the joy, the passion and meaning, the apathy and

bleeding.. the excitement, and devastation — confusion and frustration — of, in, about,

life.

The best way I know how to protect and defend myself is through, distance.

Emotional distance.

In every relationship that I hold, from friends to family members, there is this.. reserve..

this boundary.. this veil, that the other does not perceive, but that I know is there.

Those are the only words usable that can somewhat describe this state I find myself in;

unable to trust.. unable to invest very much myself into other people for fear of being let down, neglected, rejected, or just misused, and unappreciated.

Being different, unusual, misunderstood, has always been “me.” What makes me feel, special.. unique.. ALMOST as important as everyone else.

Is it an inferiority issue? a complex?

Since I’m nowhere near normal and pretty and smart enough to fit into the “average”

I’ll just get as far away from it as I possibly can.

Create my own world, where in this sphere, what matters is that

you are enjoying

life.

You are learning.

You are trying to understand..

trying to gleen knowledge, lesson, instruction, wisdom from EVERYTHING.

And the best way to accomplish that, is to observe.. and occasionally, to participate in society.

But mostly,

live on the outside.

That is where you, belong.

And so, I do all I can to help the world,

but I refuse what assistance it would offer.

And so I love, everyone, especially the friendless..

but don’t let anyone

really care about me..

don’t want anyone,

to really care about me. ~

There is only one person who I confide in and make myself vulnerable to almost completely,

very honestly and fully, and that is Christopher. He doesn’t know all of the details of my life.. all the longings, aspirations, dreams in my heart (along with the parts of it that have died).. he doesn’t know the contents of every crevice in my mind.. but he doesn’t have to. He can know the answer to whatever he asks — and THAT is what I’m talking about.

So that’s why, I guess, I’m so dependent on him, so attached..

why it’s so hard to be so very far away from him.

I feel alone.. wherever else I am, unless it’s with him.

I feel alone.. no matter who I’m with –

unless I’m with him.

But sometimes, I believe, it (my loneliness, the feeling of it) is because I choose to be alone.

It’s easier to live that way — it’s the “worst case scenario” that you don’t need to fear anymore because, you’re already there.

ANYWAYS. ++

Yes, Chris and I talked that evening for awhile, and it just changed me. I realized,

I am still essentially “me..” that weird, unclassified, girl..

but that I need to smile with more than my lips,

and hug with more than my arms.

I need to be less defensive..

and if not remove entirely, atleast LOWER, my guard.

I love people so much..

but oh, I just have to be alone..

so much of the time.

More than I’ve ever known,

I’m a real recluse, hermit, introvert..

and yet so happy, so social, such a lover of humanity and it’s society..

I’m an ambivert. It’s, totally 50/50. I enjoy time spent alone more than I could describe.

**

After our conversation, which ended around 12:30 am, Jan and I decided that we were hungry.

So, we crept down the stairs, tip-toed into the kitchen, and warmed up some leftover, strange, “tofu-and-yellow-squash” dish. I also grabbed afew crackers with hummus. And with that, we returned to our dorm room.

Some time afterwards, I began talking with a friend on the internet (will not disclose the name) and

found that she was very sad, very depressed, and so I went back downstairs, where the public phone is located, and we had a good conversation. Realized, that although our circumstances and – generally, lives – are very different.. our feelings, fears, are so similar..

it’s a lack of trust, in humanity.

it’s a lack of faith, in ourselves..

it’s the direction we’re missing – the instability we’re experiencing..

and while this instability results from an off-and-on relationship with God, one of the biggest factors is a lack of longlasting, enduring, concrete relationships in life. Lack of well-defined family relationships.. little strength and committment in earthly friendships..

and just being a teenager.

Not having enough confidence, or knowledge of purpose, to feel important, worthwhile, and beautiful on your own.

We had a prayer, at my request, before departing..

and what was so unusual was that, I began to cry.. and couldn’t stop it – couldn’t fight it off, which.. usually, I am very NON-expressive around people. I became very overwhelmed with a sense of love and deep, genuine, sincere concern for this girl, this friend.. and I just wished with all of my heart that she would be okay; that God would break the spell of the enemy, who was tormenting her by affecting her heart.. and putting doubts into her mind.. scribbling all over every page in her life “You change all the time; you don’t know who you are, and no one else does either. Might as well give up now, because you’ll never have anything to believe in, or anyone to count on.”

and so, we parted company and I walked back up the stairs, slowly, wiping all the tears from my eyes and reassuring, convincing myself, that my roommate wouldn’t notice.

Also found out a couple days ago that one of my friends (again, unnamed) was sexually abused – for years – by a family member. It made me very sad.. and I can see now, clearer than ever before, how big this world is.. and how I can only IMAGINE all of the things that plague these earthly inhabitants.. how many silent sufferers there are.. how much pain is out there; how much darkness, evil, and devastation.. (why has it always been so lovely to me?)

this life is pretty,

but it isn’t beautiful.

This life is fleeting..

and thank God, that’s wonderful —

because the best is yet to come.

**

That night, Jan and I stayed up LATE. We just, couldn’t sleep.. anticipating the long, 16 hour drive down south the next day. We laughed, and laughed, and.. couldn’t stop. We were just so giddy. And two french women had arrived on campus that day; they had flown in from France (for DLI classes) and we could hear these two, along with Cara (french classmate who had been there since first day of course), laughing, talking, carrying on until just about as late as we (Jan and I) did.

Eventually, I, in the bed across from Jan’s, just talked quietly to myself.. closing my eyes.. whisphering – in a hushed, antiquitious, english tone – the story of the Jews.

The way they dress themselves.. with their black and white clothing, tiny-to-large hats, long skirts on the ladies and tight lips worn by man and woman alike.. the many children they raise, all naive and unaware of the indoctrination taking place from birth,– of superiority to and alienation from the Gentiles, the non-Jews..

The way a man named Hitler annihilated thousands, millions, of beautiful human beings, in a silly campaign to produce a “better race..” how they were stripped of their clothing, their names, their belongings –

everything that identified them as individuals, and valuable human beings..

How numbers were tattooed on their wrists,

how they were coerced to work as slaves,

how they slept in piles,cold.. burning..

how they were forced to undergo medical “experiments,”

and how many died –

gassed to death, malnourished, sick and untreated.

Many reasons, all of them horrible, inhuman, awful, terrible, sick, twisted

and stupid.

My last words before falling asleep, were these..
“So whenever you see a Jew, smile at them..

whenever you see a Jew, smile at them.”

And that was my last audible breath,

at 2 in the morning.

**

Jan and I were awakened rudely at 7:40. Brother Stanford was announcing, loudly, from the dorm hallway, that we were setting out on the road in about 30-45 minutes. He continued to bellow these sentiments and so, in my nightgown, I stumbled to the door and assented, visually and audibly, letting him know that clearly we had heard him and he need continue the yelling no longer.

We had slept through *mandatory worship.. intentionally skipped. The alarm had gone off at 6:20 and.. we just knew it wasn’t happening.

And, we’re going to be fined.

Oh well.. it was necessary.

We had also violated the “sleepy time, quiet time” rule by being outside of the dorm past 10 (you recall; the midnight snack? yes). So, I found it interesting, as we were driving, pondering the two incidents..

how one violation led to the other. [In clear lines, staying up late.. caused us to sleep in late.]

Kinda like, how one sin – ‘aaaa’ transgression, ‘just oneee’ disobedience, in the spiritual realm – just paves the way for the next, and another, and.. all.

So yeah. We loaded all of our belongings into the tiny little car and Jan, Cara, Stanford and I began the journey to Atlanta. The rest were taking two other vehicles and would meet us the next day at the General Conference.

The drive went by slowly, but, it wasn’t horrible. It came to it’s end, as I knew it would. I slept, in awkward and various positions.. cuddled with Sticks (pictured; my cat baby.. Chris gave him to me!), listened to music, journaled, read, looked out the window and thought.

That’s one of my favorite things to do; think.

I drove for afewwww minutes, when we were in Virginia, but it started pouring and I get very nervous driving in the rain. So Stanford took back over. It was hot out (and yes, I did just state in the sentence previous that it was raining; it’s all good), and I had a t-shirt on.. meaning,

both of my tattoos were exposed.

I mean, when I first got “here,” I was very careful, to keep them covered, concealed.. but, lately, I’m just like – you know what, I’ve been here for a month now: if you don’t know me at this point, I’m so sorry. This – these – are a part of me, of my past. They were mistakes, yes — and they were

necessary ones.

I dare say so.

I’ve changed; I hope you believe me..

if you don’t, not going to let it bother me.

🙂 I say this, in love.

By the time we got in last night, I was absolutely exhausted. Jan and I slept on a big floor-bed and were forced to get up at 8 this morning.

Sometimes, religious people are crazy.

Listen.

We didn’t get in til about 12:30 [am], and weren’t settled in and ready to sleep til 1.

Do you REALLY think it’s necessary to get up THAT early after such a longgg drive and having kept such late hours?

Middle of the road, folks.

I’m going to have to ask you all to just calm down.

🙂

So, here I am now.

We’re heading to the GC tonight.. going to acquaint ourselves with the area and, I guess, begin passing out cds/ magazines/ literature. We’ll be here (Atlanta), until, most likely, nexxxxt Sunday – 4th of July.

I’m not scared like I was.

The way I see it is,

if God is for us – who can be against us?

And if God isn’t in this.. it will come to naught.

As I continue to study, I’m praying for the truth to become amazingly clear..

and as of now,

I think I’ve found it.

-Aun Aqui

Kosher pizza, religious drag and tomfoolery.

 <– Jan. 
^ L-R, Jan and I. 
 
“You’re much too young to be in love.”
“Just let me run where I want to run..
Just let me love
who
I
want.”
*
Today was lovely.
I woke up sad..

Boyfriend and I were up very late discussing religion last night.

He and I have “differences..” points of.. contention? We just,

don’t see things the same way.. atleast, not yet.  We’re both pretty convinced, but we’re both also searching.

Trying to trust that God is NOT the author of confusion.. but is, instead,

the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega, Knower of all,

Creator of all, our Best Friend, Teacher, Guide – One who thinks good thoughts of and toward us, and Who will allow no one (who is sincere and open minded) to be misled.

There is so much out there.. so many options.

Religion is like a buffet.

You go through a line, pick what you want (that which you are naturally inclined towards liking),

leave what you don’t,

and thus it is born! a self-created, custom made, “just for you, the shoe fits, the book is nice to read”

faith.

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Christ has one fold, but many sheep in OTHER folds…

so where is that one place?

I’d like to be there..

I don’t want to wait “forever” to find out,

I don’t want to always wonder and constantly doubt

that I’m teaching

THE truth (because yes, I’m one of those “absolute” people; there’s [right] and then a whole lot of

).

Otherwise, what is the point? If you aren’t sure, certain, confident, .. come on, to base your life around an uncertainty.. to let it govern all that you are and say and think and choose and do? Really?

God is love, – He is merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth..

full of grace, so full of compassion..

We are admonished to be perfect, even as our Father in HEAVEN is perfect,

and Amen! how beautiful is the thought,

the reality!,

that we CAN be. Hallelujah, PRAISE the Lord.

Isn’t that what we WANT?

I don’t know about you, but..

as a musician who professes to love, music.. I would be THRILLED, were

I to discover that I could be payed to make cd’s and perform. It would be a “dream come true.”

That, is the goal.  The hope.  The fantasy.

And so, as a christian, does it really make sense to say that you love and want to be like, Christ,

if in reality you.. don’t?

The strength is available, the resolve is possible, the wisdom is offered.. and you would reject? you could “do without”?

Is it sin you want to be saved from.. or in?

And if you don’t,– if you DONT want to reflect Christ, in all of His love, perfection, and beauty– where is this religion taking you — where is this relationship going?

Would you really want to dwell in a place like heaven – a kingdom, the ruling principles of which

are unselfish love and obedience to God, King?

And prophecy.

I don’t know about you guys..

to me, it (prophecy) is affirming – fascinating.. it holds my interest, keeps me searching, impresses me with the grand truths of the Bible, the fast-approaching, culminative events SOON to take place.. it’s a gift, it’s beautiful. And it’s hard to explain to someone that God’s love can be expressed through such a medium..

I would say, that His love is made manifest in that,

He wants to keep nothing from us.

And (not but), He is wise.

He doesn’t give us an entire view of the map at the onset of the journey, or even in middle or right at the end; He shows us just alittle at a time, revealing more and more as we progress further and further – upward and onward..

He gives truth “especially adapted to the needs of God people at that time.”

He does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants, the prophets. (Amos)

He prepares us – as any true friend, or good father, would – for judgment, for crisis, for devastation

and for glory.

This life, is a preparation for the next..

and while I prepare,

I plan on enjoying every second.

This human, mortal life is the experience of a “lifetime..” haha

a small pocket of eternity which I do hope to always remember, and never forget.

Anyways, moving on.

Yes, I was sad this morning, but, after morning worship, found out class was suspended until next week when we will return from GC. We’re leaving tomorrow morning (for Atlanta, GA) and all of the adults needed to make “necessary preparations.” At first, I was disappointed; “What am I going to do all day? I HATE wasting time..” but, then I decided to seek the Lord and discover WHAT HIS plans were, and, they were for me to spend time with Him..

alone.

So, I walked to town, messenger bag hanging from my right shoulder and bouncing onto and off of my left hip as I moved, journal and Bible in hand.  I turned left into the schoolyard and sat down upon a bench, squarely facing a brick wall. It was sunny, abit overcast, and windy. The air was warm with little, intermittent, chilly gusts keeping the temperature very-well balanced.

It was perfect.

I began with a prayer and opened up to Isaiah 55, – the same chapter Chris (boyfriend) had told me that he had read the day previous. So, I was pleased at the coincidence (rather, providence) and read all the way through to Isaiah 66, highlighting as I went. Beautiful chapters; the Lord will purify His latter day church and she will be a beacon of light for all the world.. and does this not inspire hope? a fervent desire to RETURN to the Lord wholeheartedly, so that we all — each one — can play a part in this grand work.. this final ingathering..

I then read a chapter out of Patriarchs and Prophets, by Mrs. EG White. There, I learned afew interesting things.. (this chapter was based on Genesis chapter 3 – “The Temptation and the Fall”) She gives such wonderful insight..

-Self justification: the spirit of __, originated with Satan, passed on to Adam and Eve, and has continued ever since. Even the blessings of God are sometimes used against Him; ex, Adam blaming Eve – his beloved wife, God’s gift – for his sin.

-Adam, who out of LOVE for Eve, forfeited God’s approval, the Eden home and eternal, joyous life, AFTER the fall, turned on her, his wife, and blamed both her and the Creator for his sin.

-Sin: is more than believing a lie; it is DISTRUSTING God’s love and DOUBTING His wisdom.

-“Tasting FRUIT? Too small a transgression for consequences of such a severe nature to result.” Well, untrue. God was MERCIFUL, to have placed such a LIGHT prohibition upon Adam and Eve! If it had been a larger matter, people would, today, excuse “small disobediences” (sins) as trivial and of little import and consequence. How wise is God?

-“It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep God’s law.” FALSE. God didn’t set Adam and Eve up to fail; they had the power to choose to be loyal and obedient or rebellious and defying. We have that same choice; can follow our carnal hearts in their rebellion from God and desire for sin OR we can, with JESUS’ power, overcome every and all bad habits/ tendencies/ desires.

**

So yes. It was a lovely reading, and I then re-read the first three chapters of Genesis.

Beautiful way to start the day, Bible studying from 9-11. I then returned to campus, entered my dorm room and layed down for abit, resting before lunch. We had cabbage, tofu and veggie meat. 🙂 Aren’t details fascinating?

As I layed there, I tried to think of nothing.. but it’s so hard, to just be.  It’s so hard to live presently.. atleast, for me it is.  There’s always something to observe, analyze, regret, remember, anticipate, dread, or long for.  The present is never satisfying enough; it leaves me discontented.. MOST of the time.. there are precious moments when I can just “be” – and it is those times when I feel the most alive, the most sensible, the most.. focused.

Afterwards,- after lunch, that is,- Jan and I got permission to “go to town” for some last-minute “trip stuff.” We got tiny, compact little bottles of shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc.. we were also terrible people and got chocolate pudding and [Little Debbie] cosmic brownies (which were eaten in the car). The pudding was atleast SOMEWHAT nutritious, or atleast it CLAIMED to be — made with dark chocolate, ‘packed with vitamins and minerals,’ ‘a good source of antioxidants.’

Well, it’s lovely to hear, and wonderful to believe –

so, I’ll just eat pudding, smile, and play along. ~

On the way home, Jan decided that she simply HAD to have pizza before our trip to Atlanta (whereat there would be noooo opportunity of doing so in the company of all of the Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers) and so, as a compromise, we stopped at a Jewish cafe, where they sold KOSHER pizza (and really, it’s almost as good as the “real” thing, — atleast to me, it is comparable). It was nice.. the employees (Jewish, duh) were surprisingly, somewhat, friendly! A couple of the guys were playing on a classical guitar, so I made small talk with them as our food was being prepared. The only woman, was an elderly lady named Rosa. As we sat in the dining room, eating, I saw her walk out afew times and survey the room, smile – contented -, and walk away. You could just tell she wanted people to be happy;

that’s what made her happy. How sweet, how simple.. how refreshing.

It was nice.. I told the workers to give my compliments to the cook, Rosa, and offered a “God bless you.” I would have said “Jesus loves you,” but, you know..

just wasn’t the time or place.

We (Jan and I) stopped by a park on the way home.. (by park, I mean – there were beautiful trees, green grass, a pretty blue sky and a picnic table).. we layed down on top of it, and looked up into the sky, at the clouds,

for just a little while.

I remember doing it before, of course.. who hasn’t..

but it had been awhile.  It was very neat.. finding, in the white puffiness, images — creatures, people,– things that would change shape slowly and transform into whatever you perceived them to be.  Not much to say about it, just, that we did,

and that I enjoyed it.

David.

I haven’t thought about him in awhile, but, the past few days my mind has been reverting to the past. We were so close, so happy, so in love.. I’ve realized, it wasn’t fake, we WERE (in love).. it wasn’t a lie, it was real. It wasn’t a dream – it all happened, and, over a considerably long period of time.

How is that possible?

We were very much together.

So why did it end?

What happened? Who changed? and How is it that love can die into meaning nothing,

scarcely seeming to have ever existed?

It’s like a part of you is taken away – and in it’s place, a milder, calmer, more sensible, more experienced,

more sensitive, but stronger.. part of you.. is born.

The feeling is foreign, bewildering, scary, unsettling..

not that I miss it, or him– but that I wonder,

now, forever-

in what can we stake all of our trust?

God, of course– but are we never able to SAFELY depend on another?

Can we really be sure of any earthly allegiance?

It pains me, breaks my heart, to think that we can’t..

I want so much to believe that there is true love, love that will wait, love that will dedicate itself,

love that will manifest itself always in sweet, soft utterings, gentle reproofs, staunch loyalty, sincere affection..

that if you were to disappear, on a desert island, for 10 years..

when you got back-

you could know, full well, that.. they had waited for you.

That you were.. worth it.

I guess the strongest, raging fire can be put out by the wind, in the rain.

I guess there is nothing to trust and believe in, everything is going to cave.

I just hope that this..

what I have now..

won’t end the same way.

And you thought that it was right..

you just, didn’t know for sure.

Yeah, you wanted to believe it was “light”-

that all pervading dark.

~ Just finished leading out the group’s evening worship; Nephatali wasn’t here, so, I filled in last minute.

It is just simply my calling;

to be a teacher. 

I am more sure of it now than I ever have been.  Nothing comes so naturally,

feels so right, fulfills me so fully.. as educating others.  Loving others.  Caring for, understanding, helping (and being helped by) — others.  God, equip me – sanctify me wholly.. UNMASK error, reveal truth, discipline this wreck,

soften this heart,

clean this mind,

and make it clear enough,

so that it is able to conceive

all that you would like

for me to know, believe,

and teach. 

It is always, and ever will be, my prayer, that I should be a blessing, and receive a blessing..

make it so.

Going on a walk.. taking a shower.. studying..

and spending time with the love of my life –

the last..

and really, actually, the only.

Christopher Andrew Y********.

❤ 0529. 4763. 

    And you’ll never know what these numbers mean.

-Aun Aqui

A picture that is better than, I dare say, ALL the rest.

And this blog post is entirely devoted to this one capture.

Love Affair, by Copeland.

And I would have driven all the way, the whole 2 hours, to NYC, justttt for this one take.

There is just so much that could be said,

so many facets to this photo that could be pinpointed and analyzed..

the boy’s stare, the finger pointing – at the right, toward the left,

the mother’s smirk, the father’s large hat,

the girl’s look of condescension,

the young man’s skinny jeans..

the way he is able to walk past the family – just being confident, free, him,- and not stare,

and the phenomenon that she can’t do that. 

I’ll just let you enjoy this.

I’m not even going to TRY to explain a thing;

it’s all right there in front of you, and me.

Photography, by me..

and how awesome is God.  I had to take this from the car and didn’t know it would turn out..

well, so great.  So perfect.  Everything about it.. even the timing, was dead on.

That’s what changed everything.

-Aun Aqui

Apples.. big ones. But only one! Just, one. “The.. apple. The BIG apple!” Or is it some other fruit?

I sought, and I found. My assessment.
 
 
 
 
 

This is an excerpt from my actual, tangible, paper-and-pen JOURNAL, written today.
Some things have been omitted and, who knows, I might add in a “thing or two.” 🙂 Enjoy.
 
Jose drove us here (in my car). Jan slept in the backseat and I enjoyed observing everything around me along the way — taking it all in like a sponge.. images, sounds, smells and energy just passing continuously through my pores. We drove. I saw buildings that were tall enough to scrape the sky (is there a name, or term for that?).. beautiful women dressed in elegant, feminine dresses and others wearing only a long, (presumably, men’s) flannel sleeping shirt. I saw garbage cans fenced into housees, grafittied walls and multiple shops that claimed, on signs hanging from a window or gracing the top, that they supplied “best sandwich in town.” On one building (non-food), at an awesome height on the wall, was spray painted “babyface,.. egg yolk,.. was not here.” New York City is very territorial, fast-paced, cluttered, littered and sophisticated. It’s madness; it’s disorienting.
And this was at 9 in the morning.
Life is so much more beautiful, and meaningful, when it is lived quietly, soberly – in the midst of craziness; when the mad rush of voices and speeds and ideas and images are bombarding the being, and it is able to maintain a calm, sustain it’s isolation, and assert it’s detachment from each and all. It (this condition or, experience) reinforces the “I,” which is “you..” and if I read this back to myself, even “I” am included. All of us – each and every.. we can all go mad and the whole world knows; we can all be sane and the world just, doesn’t care. If we want attention, we must be extremely – something. There has to be something special that exists in or about us, – and that “special something” must be very distinct and developed, to be defined as noteworthy, praise worthy,
awesome.
However, in retrospect (this is one of those ‘add-on’ things I had warned might happen..) One can actually go mad, and no one will know. It’s possible. But, most of the time, people love to notice the negative..

and that brings up another question;

is going mad necessarily, negative? What if cicrumstances are so that, escaping – mentally, emotionally – from them and entering a NEW mindset is actually.. better? For that person? And what if this improvement for them isn’t detrimental to society?

Sure, that sounds good.. but what about Christ? ahh.. see how confusing this can be? I’m closing.

(Resuming)

Today was another day that I lived – and there was a wide spectrum of emotions and discoveries inherent in this one experience, this exploration – of NYC, NY.

Oh, my ears heard–my eyes BEHELD–so many awesome normalities today.. things that, in other states, would be crazy, or dullfully muted,.. things that would be ridiculous, looked down upon –

but here, they are marvelous.

They are essential.

They are “the way of the local” and they are SCENE.

I so have this deep longing in me to capture, in photograph, those things — feelings, emotions, circumstances,.. raw, honest human moments, that cannnnnnot be staged– reality, unedited – truth, uncensored. It is what it is.

Today, I saw two gay men “hitting” on eachother. One playfully slapped the other as they stood face to face.

Today, I saw a herd (thats dehumanizing; a largeeee group – small school class sized) of Jewish children scampering about their parents, full of engery and innocence, undergoing – inevitably – their training to realize (that they are) and be “superior minded,” and “more physically valuable” than all other races.

This day, I saw a man dance along the sidewalk of a busy road, raising his boombox (I wonder, was it stolen? did he buy it? is it borrowed?) to head level. I saw a woman load up a truck so she could move away, I saw a man open up the lobby entrance of his apartment and bring out and mount his bike (the modern, energy-powered horse) and begin riding down the streets of Brooklyn with many, countless others. I saw a taco truck, with all of the food it offered written on regular, lined paper, taped onto the sides of the vehicle, cart after cart being pulled by Italian ice vendors, preachers (self or God sent?) on street corners with foghorns, dogwalkers, masses hurrying along with Snapple or fancy coffee cup in hand, children crossing streets with their hands gripping on to a loved one, people happy, people sad, people angry, people lonely – a thousand hearts, just breaking and bleeding – whether they were smiling or not,– it happens,

it’s happening.

Most profound of all, was the obvious and amazing reconciliation of these locals sentiments and lives: complete independence in personal initivative, dream following, purpose finding – and total dependence on everyone around them.. eye contact or not, handshake or no contact, first-name-basis or “that could be anyone.” The awesome truth is, NYers thrive because their system is that of creative, individual, collective STATUS. NY’ers, are FAMOUS. Atleast, they feel like they are — they believe it’s true. It has to be!

Because everyone around “me” is a fan.

Anyways, NYC was precisely what I imagined it to be – exactly as I had pictured.. and, it was better – because although I love and admire brokenness, abandonment, and awful neglect –

the whole city – or, collection of cities – coheres. Makes sense. Exists.. orderly and naturally..

And I do not say “orderly” to mean that it is quiet and peaceful and easy going; no, no, it is NONE of that. People there, work hard – live fast.. have to keep up, or must leave. But it’s a healthy energy; it’s a youthful, artsy, beautiful, enduring VIBRANCY.. and existence.

Enduring! .. what is so beautiful, so altogether LOVELY, so incredible and fascinating – is that (to call anything “enduring”) it’s the most elementary, gripping, fanciful

lie.

And that everyone believes its true.

And everyone lives.. like it’s true.

-Aun Aqui

AND BTW, my pictures SUCKED, due to haughty leadership and, following, lack of opportunity. About 70% of captures were taken from the passenger seat of our “not-going-to-slow-down-for-this-nonsense” car.  I’ll lie and reassure myself with “some other time” affording opportunity. It’s what everyone does, and it’s so nice to believe.

THE NICEY NICIES.

Wow, that’s an expression I’ve NEVER used before, but it’s teeming with creativity and oddness. So!

Things I found.. nice.

1. An ice cream man waved at me as I took his picture.. and tons of innocent, uninvolved and unsuspecting individuals allowed me to photograph them. I didn’t ask, and they didn’t refuse or call me out on it.. well, the few who did didn’t stop me. 🙂

2. After the Bible study at Brother Edgard’s house, as we all breathed a hearty “amen” and began to rise from a season of prayer, one of the Spanish (Dominican Republic) men continued to hold my hand and helped me stand. I found it to be very thoughtful, chivalrous and gentleman-like! I also like to remember moments, incidents such as these. 🙂

3. As I was sitting in sadness (Yes, outright sulking, after being condemned/ reproved for taking an excessive amount of pictures on Sabbath.. no comment), a pack of (leashed and controlled) kanines began to approach Jan and I. “THATS IT!” I resolved, “Enough.” I GRABBED the camera and captured forever those furry little bundles of innocent, undying, faithful, unconditional love. The dogwalker must have perceived my interest, because he stopped about 3 feet short of where I was and restrained the dogs, allowing that I might get my picture. I thanked him heartily, conversed for a brief moment, murmered aloud how God had made such interesting creatures and welcomed all of the puppies (big.. yes, they were full grown) into my arms.

For real this time,

ahem. *creates dramatic air*

-Aun Aqui

Brainwashing. Re-evaluating. (Taking off the glasses and seeing with MY eyes)

Because we’re always seeing life

through someone else’s.

Yeah, we’re always living life

to please the

lifeless.

**

And I say brainwashing, becaaaaause I’m listening to “Exception” (Paramore) for about the 67th time.  I’m addicted. It’s the only song that I have any interest in at the moment, which, is weird for me.  I usually diversify, and have a somewhat strict policy that is AGAINST listening to one particular song, however beloved, back to back (although I make exceptions sometimes, for awesomeness like Coldplay).  

It (“Exception”) is just very, relatable.  “I’m on my way to believing..”

SO ANYWAYS.  Re-evaluating! Yes! AbsoLUTELY! Always.  Anticomformity, going to see the way Jesus would see.. think the way Jesus would think.. say what Jesus would say and do what Jesus would DO.  It sounds easy, it sounds honorable (and the latter, it most certainly is) but how much SELF DENIAL it requires, how wholly we must depend on God, to achieve those things.  We are far too concerned with “popular consensus” and “prevailing ideas, opinions.”  The mainstream, flourishes.. and the little creek that God calls HIS way, is always in such danger of becoming stagnant. 

Today, I went for a walk in the woods, after getting Brother Stanford’s permission and receiving confirmation from Jan that she would rather stay “home” (dorm room) and read or watch her Manga drama. 

I brought my mp3 player along, but never listened to it.

I brought my camera along, and took one or two pictures.

I took my cell phone with me, and texted ONCE – it was a “return text” to my mom telling her to NOT text me for the next 30 minutes, that I was currently sitting directly in front of 4 deer and didn’t want any “viby noises” to scare them off.

So yes, I just gave it away.

Eventually, as I was walking along, I realized: I am completely and totally ALONE right now, save for the possible and probable concealed presence of birds, bears, deer or wild boars.  So, walking along, curiously, carefully weighing each step and making certain that there were no snakes slithering around on the ground surrounding me, I began singing, softly but with unreserved, unchecked, unashamed volume.  Then, all of the sudden, I just barely glaaaanced towards the right and saw a FACE, a skinny, brown FACE, staring at me!  It was A DEER!  And behind the “leader” I could make out the silhouettes or (we aren’t dealing with black and white here, I just like the fancy word, admittedly) forms of 2-3 OTHER deer!  “Wow, this is GREAT!!” I thought, “just what I was hoping for.”  And so, quickly deciding, in my mind, what the best “plan off attack” would be, I walked —  nonchalantly, and  focusedly — over to a stump that looked like it had been chiseled away at perfectly, just for me to sit on.  Upon sitting down, I raised my head hopefully – holding my breath, daring to believe they hadn’t scampered away – and each deer was still in view, staring at me, and keeping very still. 

Ah, I was so excited.  I sat there, cooing at the “head deer” (I believe that this was the very one I saw a couple of weeks ago when I first arrived at Mountaindale; the connection between his eyes and mine was unmistakable), assuring him in tone and word (which, the latter matters not, I doubt he could understand anything but sound) that I would do him no harm and would only love him (and his friends), if he (and they) would let me.

I sat there, so very still, so very quiet, for about the space of 20-25 minutes.  His stare, was undying; his eyes were GLUED to my tiny form and I sat there, meekly, scarcely daring to even breathe, periodically lifting my hand for a brief second to wave in a friendly, inviting sort of way.

I prayed.. God, please – please just, impress the deer.. lead him over to me so that I can pet him; let him know that he can trust me! Please!..

and I sincerely believed, with tears in my eyes, that it would happen..

The deer approached me.. we were within 25 feet of eachother, and it was HE who was advancing towards me.. “this is looking GOOD!” I couldn’t wait.  Then, he walked in a sort of semi circle, on the other end of which he was the same distance from me that he had been moments previous.  All of his movements, and those of the others, were very well-calculated, cautiously and timidly executed.  It hurt my feelings, alittle; I kept trying to reassure him that I was NOT going to hurt him or his family.. but, they were skittish, on-edge, and remained apprehensive of my presence.

Soon, it was 5:50 and I knew that I simply had to be back on campus within 10 minutes for evening worship, or I would be fined (they take punctuality VERY seriously).  The deer, guiding and protecting his three companions, had begun to lead them away from where I was and I took this as a sign that 25 feet was as close as I was going to get to my deer-friend tonight.

Sometime during the 20 minutes I sat there, I had broken down, and cried mournfully, passionately, freely.  No one was there to judge OR to care, and I was able to just.. stop pretending, stop trying, stop making myself

believe.

It broke my heart.. that, on this side of eternity, our world is so full of fear.

Not just people.. worrying about how they’re going to stay alive and live “comfortably..” care for their families and supply all their needs and wants.. (or rather, wants and needs – this backward world)..

but animals.

They, many of them, can’t trust anyone..

other species and.. especially, humans.

I want so much to be trusted.

I’m realizing that more each and every day.

Maybe that’s why, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to associate and befriend the ‘people with problems.’ I wanted to take care of them; I wanted to show them, to prove to them, that I – regardless of what ANYONE else would or would not do – would love them.. would protect them.. would honor, respect, and support them, no matter what.

And anyways, refocusing, I just wanted these deer to know that..

I wasn’t carrying a gun.

I wasn’t speeding down the road.

I wasn’t holding rocks,

or raising my bow,

or doing anything – that they need fear.

I just loved them.

I just wanted to pet and hold them..

I just wanted to calm their beating, pounding hearts

put to rest their long-borne fears

kiss their heads, coo softly,

and send them on their way,

alittle less alone-

alittle less afraid.

They have eachother, but, they were meant to have us, too..

we were supposed to lead them, guide them, love and protect them.

WE failed.

They just had to deal with it.

So, I waved goodbye (afew times, it’s so hard to let go) and promised myself that I would come back again and that they would be there and, eventually, we’d have/ come to a mutual understanding: that I loved them, and they could trust me.

Anyways, time to wind down..

glad I have a place where I can record whatever small amount of significance surfaces in my life.

-Aun Aqui

Coolest day of my life. (A handshake, a building, and the ATM machine.)

 

Ahem, as a side note.. the ATM machine is mentioned only in passing and is so very insignificant and meaningless in regards to this story.. but nevertheless, I included it in the title because, well, I just like the ‘ring of it’ 🙂 -AA

*****/ ** *********

Beautiful day;
a pocket of light and a wad of darkness –
compact, precise,
consistent and unerring.

24 hours.

Promise.. potential..

people, places, things

Ideas, beliefs, and feelings

Humor and anger

Smiles and kisses

Leisure and strain.

This is everything I’ve ever know

wanted to be

or been.

**

And so, Jan and I were out running errands this afternoon. We had informed our advisor that there were some things we needed to do and she had agreed that it was okay if we returned after 2 o clock (the time when we usually begin our “working” portion of the day: Jan and I’s duty – cooking. Always). I stopped the car near the “fresh-spring-water” spicket and filled up the same jug I’ve been using for the past two weeks and my 24-ounce, blue water bottle (courtesy of Jan’s dad: Ricardo). Afterwards we struggled against the whims of Garmin who simply insisted that an ATM-offering bank was but 7 minutes down the road.. we gave in, let her “call the shots” and it turned out that the establishment was out of business. The sign read, specifically, in plainnn English – “permanently closed down.” Wtg, Garmin.

However, it was a beautiful detour, mistake – what have you.. because there was an AWESOME mural of a railroad station right across the parking lot, along the walls of whatever business thrived and operated next door. I had Jan stand in various places, in many positions, and enjoyed taking pictures of the wall and her.. capturing the day, the moment.. the person, the thing.. in a place, together..

And yes, we also stopped by a kosher, Jewish supermarket. Looked around, listened to the foreign music composed of words and sounds we couldn’t understand or fully “get.”  It was interesting, if nothing else! I love being exposed to what is, to me, ODDITY.  New.  Different, and.. ah, it’s just so refreshing.  Wakes me up, and reminds me that there is much to live for – there are so many reasons to keep breathing.. and even if there was only one, it would be worth it: and I speak of, learning.  Learning, learning, learning.. and I’m talking about more from EXPERIENCE than books.  Though both are nice and appreciated.

Anyways, the highlight of my day – perhaps, the trip so far.. (is this; keep reading)

As we drove home, I saw, on the left-hand side of the road, a beautiful, beautiful site. And so, braking and signaling quickly, I pulled off onto the rough concrete and Jan just sat there, in the passenger seat, defeated. I had already turned, put the car in park and pulled out the keys; she was going to have to indulge me for just afew moments.

Turned out that we were there for awhile.

Well see, the building, I later discovered, had been an ANIMAL feed factory. It burned down last year, no injuries, no deaths. About 200 feet across the parking lot was a large, yellow building. So I’ll rewind here.

I got out of the car and approached the scene with a huge, brilliant smile on my face. I was so pleased; I was so proud.. THIS was going to make a beautiful picture, I thought to myself. And so, with the camera already set on “black and white,” I began snapping away.. but my appetite, was insatiable; I needed to get closer, lower, deeper, fuller, nearer..

and so, with Jan standing at the top, looking down, trying to convince me to NOT climb down the steep and rocky hill in my long, jean skirt, down I went.. closer to my “love at first sight,” nearer the voice that beckoned me draw nigh, that pulled at me like a magnet — and I was drawn like the moon at sunset, slowly finding my way

home.

And so yes, I began taking beautiful pictures and was, essentially, “having the time of my life.” Then a voice startled me, as my eye was held to the lens and I was leaning over slightly. I looked up quickly and started to process that he was approaching me, he was a man, Jan and I were out of sight, tucked away in the “ghetto woods” and this could potentially be dangerous. “If he becomes violent, I run this way.. if he says anything funny, I act crazed and scare him off..” thoughts like these ran through my head, ran I say, although it all registered very slowly.. I was abit taken back and couldn’t fully grasp what “living in this moment” meant.  But I was so.. not scared.  I was very confident, very calm.  I just waited for him to get close enough for me to hear and I then prompted him, softly, to repeat what he had exclaimed at a distance.

Anyways, so yes. He demanded that I tell him why I was there, and with a CAMERA! I explained that I enjoyed photography — that I was a photographer (non-professional, but of COURSE) — and that I especially enjoyed taking pictures of what I term, ‘old, broken beauty’.. beauty that either once was or never could have been – and never will be. He seemed abit skeptical and, puzzled, at this reply.. most likely assumed I was some kind of JOURNALIST exploiting Jews and the.. wow, I don’t know, building. Anyways, he escorted me off of the leveled cement, down open stairs, to ground level.. and as I peered up at the black and grey, forgotten, neglected and forlorn MESS I just hadddd to ask, despite all of the tension, “would you mind if I took a couple of pictures from right here?” (One of his major concerns was that this was “private property” and that he could be held responsible – sued – were anything to happen to me).. he assented to this and walked away, still seeming disoriented and abit irritated, reminding me in firm tone that I was in no case to get anywhere near the mountain.

You’ve got it, dude.

So I took more pictures. Lots. Tried to achieve getting the angle I was looking to find within the limited moving space I had to choose from. I didn’t like being so far away (I mean, at this distance, I couldn’t just walk up and touch the melted portion of the wall)

I felt.. like I had just introduced myself to a new world, a whole new PLANET, where I felt more at home.. more ALIVE.. than on the old, the normal, the lifeless dirtball. The dark, empty, greedy void that just robs us of energy, hope, dreams, time, .. and eventually,

us.

Yes, I was glad to escape, for justtt alittle while.

After a couple of minutes, Jan disappeared. I repeatedly called her name, but to no avail. Found out after reading a text later on that she had returned to the car. As I walked around, investigating, exploring, enjoying, I happened to glance over to my left, towards the YELLOW BUILDING that I mentioned earlier. Yes, well, I saw a middle-aged woman just staring at me from the second floor. I waved energetically and smiled congenially.. and hesitantly, weakly, she returned the wave. Just afew moments later a Jewish man walked up to where I was and inquired (might I say somewhat aggressively, although muted – his dissatisfaction, evident), “WHY are you taking pictures?” I then proceeded to explain myself to him, as I had to the other, and he seemed satisfied. I then asked, as time was quickly passing, how I might get out of the parking lot, since I wasn’t allowed to climb up the mountain (where I had come from; ok, so it wasn’t a mountain, more like a hill – but a treacherous one, apparently, for the first Jewish man to refuse my going back the same way). He stated indifferently that I could just walk around and pointed quickly to the left.. and with that, he left.  So, I thanked him and began walking out. As I did, I was abit nervous. I had heard loud voices on a shady property just a couple hundred feet towards the left, down the street. However, I prayed – maybe only in my heart, not mind – and trusted that God would give me safe passage. As I was wandering down a road I thought and hoped would lead to the MAIN road, I heard a car approaching behind me. I thought to myself, “please.. please, just, keep driving.. don’t slow down and freak me out. I don’t want to over-react and run and make you feel like a terrible person but I also don’t want to play it cool and end up either buried alive or dead and packaged in a Hefty, black trashbag.” The car DID slow down, of course (and I say this in good humor, not cynically).. and what do you know!: the window rolled down, and I saw, a Jewish man.

BIG surprise!

This was the 3rd. To shorten the story.. because it’s already gone on for so long and you must be growing weary of this “black, white and boring”.. he wanted (to see the pictures on my camera) and assurance that I wasn’t photographing the YELLOW building (although, in retrospect, what would they have to hide? what would have been the big deal?). I assured him I just enjoyed, photography! And that I had only captured the grey/ black and burnt structure. I showed him the pictures I had taken earlier that day, of my ‘friend Jan’ standing by the railroad mural and some gazebo shots. He seemed satisfied and abit tickled that I was so attracted to the big, black “mess” in the backyard of the yellow building. He continued to question me, which made me slightly uncomfortable but, I was fine with it. He asked questions such as, “what are you doing here in NY? what part of FL do you live in? do you have a boyfriend? are you Jewish?” and I answered them politely, cheerfully.. stating that I was visiting for the summer, taking Bible classes and letting the Lord lead and guide my life, that yes I had a boyfriend and that no, I wasn’t Jewish. At last, at the end of our conversation, when he seemed perfectly satisfied and reassured, I inquired HOW I could get back onto the main road.

He told me to get in the car and he would drive me there himself.

Now, kids, don’t “try this at home.” I know that Sierra has always said NOT to get into the car with strangers and it was probably, kind of stupid. But, I was like this: 1. He’s Jewish. 2. I’ve been talking to him for a whole 10 minutes so, we’re buddies. 3. I don’t know HOW on earth I’m going to get out of here and 4. He’s.. Jewish.

So yes, I got into his vehicle and conversed abit more during the few minutes it took to get back to the car and Jan. Now, I questioned him. “So you’re Jewish?” I offered. He said yes, in a tone of surprise.. kind of like “duh.” “What do you believe? What are Jews like?” He explained that they kept THE Sabbath, feast days, and are “reserved.” I found it interesting that he would include that as one of the main points of his faith; being reserved. They definitely are. Jews keep to themselves, because that’s how they feel safe, stay special, and remain in the favor of God.

And how do I know that?

Well, when I wave to Jews, they sometimes look at me for a second, an instant, offer the slightest GLANCE and then look away. Either that or they wave back apprehensively.. or they just ignore me entirely. They drive by and I feel their stare, burning holes into my face. I sense their disdain, their disapproval, their condemnation.. their feeling of superiority.

However, this man, Moses, was nice (as I’m sure many-most Jews are; they’re just, super-private, and totally better than me). I enjoyed his company and his conversation! In our last few seconds together was when I inquired of his name and shared mine with him. I introduced myself to him as Rose. 

I was just about to open the car to get out and in saying goodbye, I stuck out my hand. He said “that’s ok” and motioned my hand away. It made me smile so big and I said “Good day, God bless you!”

He wouldn’t even shake my hand. 🙂 How.. amazing.

Today was one of the coolest days, ever.

God, thank you.

I love this life.

-Aun Aqui

CREATIVITY: UNDER CONSTRUCTION. 
(poetry from the other day; original and awful and.. incomplete, uncompleted – whatever)
music notes
vibrate off these walls
and if we’re outside “in the open”

they dont move at all

they’re carried by the wind

down to wherever you are

they seek out and find you

because you’re at the center

of their heart.

and so the trees pay their homage

standing still, erect, and tall

and the trees give their greatest blessing

because they’ve committed their souls

(to bringing this smile to your face

and stopping these tears in your eyes

from making their way to the floor

or from bleeding their way to the sky.)

the heart you have now will be altered

and the wellspring itself shall be changed

from giving off dark, fluorescent lights

to a black that

dims and fades.

to a hurtful and bleeding

black.

to a bloody and beautiful

black..

to a night of fame

pain

and blame.

it gives, and then takes everything back.

and it all hurts, just the same.

because you never left

the grave

they threw you in

covered you with dirt

you layed there, still as stone,

played along and went

beserk

because all alone,

you finally realized

that nobody cried a tear

the day when you closed your eyes

the day when they took your life

the day when you held your breath

and felt a rush of madness inside

turned out the lights

and let the skin just fly

took the blade

grasped the knife

shivered alittle and cried and cried

and died. ~

And because you don’t know me, you assume..
and since I’m a phony –
I refuse,
to let any one see, or believe, or hear, or need
me.

Although I want it, so badly, so much.
Although I need it..
I fight hard so hard against
Love.

 
 
~ Brick and glass,

and I’m putting on an act.
Trying hard to master it –
really trying to believe in it.
~We just wish life away sometimes.
And yet our hate is so superficial;
our depression so weak –
because when it comes to the dying point,
all we want to do is breathe.

The volume is there, but the melody, is lacking.

~Our dreams are suspended
as we are.
Our hope is in fragments
and they’re scattered.

And we neglect things because we do not realize their value.

~And somebody dreamt here..
and some dreams died here..
and now, their memory reappears

and their being is so clear!

Am I the only one who sees?

****

(for, mom)

I see beyond your eyes;

insecurity.

It pains my heart and I cry –

I wish you could believe..

that your soul is so worth saving,

your smile is beautiful, to me

and the whole wide world is waiting –

for you to see, what they see.

a beautiful, wonderful gem

a priceless treasure, indeed

please value yourself

please believe in yourself

please..

be free.

because i see how you’re suffering.

listen, to me..

i hate where this is going

there are depths to you

that i can see

and they stop at a point

because you’re never good at knowing

just what about you

is right.

-Aun Aqui

 

“No reason or rhyme.” A post with no substance, no meaning, no coherence – just a big mess of words.

you are the only exception..

you are

the only exception.

you

are

the

only exception..

you

are

the only exception.

-paramore

***** ** *********

Part of my tooth chipped off today! Happened during lunch.. so weird, same thing happened about 2 years ago when I was visiting my ex-boyfriend in CT. Wondering if it’s cavity-related or due to an insufficient supply of calcium. Would like to schedule an appointment with the dentist, but, don’t know if parents have dental coverage right now, due to dad’s recent re-employment with Publix (all the benefits haven’t been fully realized yet). Anyways, yes. Today we studied Zechariah 6, as a group, and it’s a very interesting topic, although it’s never recognized as a beautiful, relevant and unique prophecy, an important part of Scripture, by the mother church. Jan and I drove down the road to get fresh spring water this morning, and as she sat in the car, which I had pulled off onto the side of the road, I crossed over and returned to the creek. It was beautiful down there today, and I knew it would be. Has been raining for days, and the creek was more like a river, rushing torrents of water climbing over the rocks, pushing themselves forward, onward,

downward.

And I wonder if I’m heading downstream also?

Feel very strange lately, hazy, not completely “there,” or even HERE.

I just want to walk.. look around me, take pictures, play guitar, and drive.

I want to drive!

Far away from here.. that’s, why I want to drive.

Because I want to escape.

I need to be here, I know I do.. and some days I feel like I’ve totally accepted it and, beyond that, am HAPPY with it, ..

but then then there are days when I realize (yes, realize, because whether I sense/ perceive it or not it’s alwaaaays there) that I have a major discontent within me – a serious fear, and disdain for feeling – being – “held down.” My schedule is very consistent, orderly, specific and unbudging; such bold, distinct demands are placed upon my time.. and I feel like I’m just not equal to the task, and my heart isn’t in it.

Anyways, I’m still here. I don’t think I’m going anywhere.

We’re driving, as a group, to the GC being held down in Atlanta, Georgia. I think it starts the 22nd.. should be interesting. Many people will not want to hear anything we have to say. I may cry afew times. It’s possible that I’ll be yelled at, stared down, and humiliated.

But hasn’t Christ suffered worse?

BLESSED are you, when men shall HATE you, and when they shall separate you from them, and shall reproach you, and cast your name out as wicked, for the Son of Man’s sake. If nothing else, it will be interesting.. it will build character and it will give me a glimpse, a cursory view, into the world of religion — a face, a side, a voice I’ve never seen – or heard – before. Atleast, only minimally. I was kicked out of a church once for wearing a hat and believing the Bible. 🙂

And so, yes. I will be going walking soon, toting the camera along with me. I really should be studying instead. I don’t know; I feel like I’ve been lazy, as in I haven’t been very DEDICATED to reading and praying as much as I should. However, in my defense, I feel that being “up” here in a new atmosphere, different area, where no one knows me and my only mission is to “grow in the Lord” and equip myself to share the truth with others, I have time enough for reflection. For meditation. To get to know myself once again and to reacquaint myself with “life..” her simplicity, the way she confounds and confuses and puts to sleep so many – young and old – and just, breathe. I love to think.. and it’s great, to have something to think about. Here, I have had many revelations. What they are, I can’t tell you — but I know I have, because I have changed. Rather,

I have grown.

I have evolved.

I see myself as a different person.. less in love with myself, less aware of who I am, more confounded. “WHO am I? What am I doing here? WHY am I alive, and when.. is everything going to make sense?” I have a lot of ideas concerning “when” this will all ‘come together..’ but I can’t be sure of anything anymore. THAT is something I have had revealed to me and that I can plainly state:

I can’t be sure of anything anymore. No one is dependable.. and only dead things are beautiful, because what they are, is what they always will be – they don’t pretend and they don’t boast. I want to be dead.. I feel like I kind of am. Atleast, I’m getting there.

I want to be consistent.. and spontaneous.

I want to be Christlike – and me..

I want to be intelligent and helpful,

and I want to walk down dusty roads and take pictures of rocks, trees and buildings.

Maybe I’m not there yet.

I guess I’m not dead..

unless dying is beautiful, unless dying is finding, unless dying is BEING and

letting that being, be.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.. these entries must be so boring.

Before we leave NY, Jan and I are going to get a kosher pizza from one of these Jewish food establishments. 🙂 Oh wow! I don’t know if I mentioned it or not, but, there are TONSSSS of Jewish people around here. Like, half the population. It’s neat.. walking into Walmart and seeing lines of men wearing black suits, tiny little hats and ostentatious beards.. women, dressed modestly, moving about meekly, ministering to a hoard of little ones..

New York.

It’s nice to meet you.

-Aun Aqui