Joe told me that I need to write more...
so I'm going to. I'm going to post the first chapter of the novel I'm working on. It may not actually be the first chapter chronologically, but it's the first one that I've done. This is a thirdish draft so comment away.
The Brotherhood of the Welding Helmet
By: S. Dwight Parker
What lies before is my attempt to craft a story. Not just any story, but MY story. In my scattered comings and goings it has become clear that people enjoy a good story. Philosophers, theologians, kings and barons may all blather of methods to change the world yet all the systematic theology, volumes of enlightened prose, rousing speeches, or patented systems in existence succeeds, most often, do nothing but rock the masses to sleep. While even the obligatory “what I did this summer” selection will perk up the attention of an bystander, if only for a moment. While a sordid or suspenseful yarn can gather even the most exhausted of the muddy sticks. My story begins.
As in any good story, a significant chunk is somewhat embellished. In actuality, only the most persistent of observers would recognize the events in this selection as anything but a completely original work of fiction. Some is fact, some is mythology and the rest falls somewhere between a Roger Clemens misremembrance and complete bullshit. More precisely the events described are semi-factual. I was there for most, and knew well those there for the rest, and the statute of limitations saves us all.
Names of places were changed for no good reason and the names of people were so that my ass wouldn’t be kicked or sued as some incidents tend toward the unsavory. With such an extensive disclaimer you may think I doth protesteth too much. Possibly.
The New Testament, tells of a man born blind. Jesus’s disciples asked why the man was born with such an affliction. They debated that either the man himself had sinned or that his father and mother had. As Jesus did often when a question missed the point, his reply was not an answer. In this instance, Jesus spit upon the ground and with his fingers made mud from the dirt. He then plastered the man’s eyes with it. Jesus then told the man to go down to the pool of Siloam and wash in the waters there. When the mud fell from his eyelids, the man born blind was able to see for the first time.
I am not the son of my father’s sin. I am not a brother of perdition. I am a creature of the created. An image of the artist, the source of all metaphors, the muse of all poets, the essence of melody and rhyme. Somehow, it was I who started the fire. In my soul exists the trinity of contrition. Reality, Responsibility and Right. For everything done in darkness will one day be brought into the light. The sun’ll come out tomorrow, betcher bottom dollar that tomorrow they’ll be sun. I was blind but now I see.
Like I told that cop and the dumbass reporter, we were all there that night. Now that’s not something that you could say many nights in those days. Hell, there wudn’t but five of us that worked there all total even if you counted Jean who didn’t do nothing but fill out ledgers and cut checks. But by the grace of God and the damn New York Yankees, we were all there.
I was working the evening shift, three til closing. Jean was hustling to get her ledgerin’ done in time for her appointment with Tom Selleck in Wranglers for some boot scootin. We were on-site and available for no one in particular so we tuned into baseball while waiting to be needed.
That damn Darryl Strawberry swung a bat exactly the way that my little league coach would make us run laps for. But when Darryl’s shoulder dipped and the bat head dove toward the earth it was poetry. The sweetest swing in the game which at times looked like something from a Ben Hogan instructional had rolled into Baltimore to oppose the Birds. No cable necessary, the game came through sharp and clear on the rabbit ears. Darryl came up while I was taking a piss and smacked one so far to leftfield that the ball one hopped that brick warehouse at Camden Yards. Jean laughed as I ran out of the john still buckling my belt only in time to catch the end of the final replay. A harbinger of a night of unfortunates.
The work wasn’t hard, but I never liked being at the shop alone until closing. Closing alone was the reason I bought the pistol. The old man was paranoid as hell that I’d get some wild hair and OK corral some crackhead. It wasn’t no Dirty Harry hand cannon, hell, I didn’t have that kind of money and I knew that a mammoth handgun like that only worked in the movies. Mine was a .22 magnum revolver. A little kid may have thought it was a toy. It looked like a Hop-along Cassidy 6 o’clock movie original. Fake bone handle and a steel barrel that was just too skinny. I kept it in the box with the price sticker still on the side. Will’s Guns, Your 2nd Amendment specialists.
Besides the Yankees and O’s the night was dead. There was work in the bay, but the parts hadn’t come in time, so those automobile repairs would wait until the old man returned to his money pit at the crack of dark.
We never sold gas at night. All of those little mini marts had popped up like mushrooms after a spring rain. We could fix just about anything wrong with any kind of vehicle. We had two gas pumps out front. There was an RC cola machine on the sidewalk by the office door, and a gumball machine filled with cashews by the counter. If your needs ran a little more into the exotic on this side of town. Let’s say somebody’s thinking that a hot dog might go well with that RC, or preferred honey roasted peanuts in a plastic sleeve to a palm full of cashews and salt then those high fallutin’ tastes would require that business to be conducted elsewhere.
Jean’s boots clicked double-time across the concrete as she headed towards her gold Sunbird. I waved as she twirled out onto Post Avenue and it was going to be the brotherhood and Darryl Strawberry until the lights flicked off at closing time.
I smelled burning tires. Scorching rubber is a distinctive fragrance. Similar in palor to the singed hair smell you get from too much lighter fluid on charcoal. I knew what it was immediately, stood and started scanning to find the source. Without even realizing it, I had grabbed the Western Special. It was right there in my right hand my thumb on the hammer and my finger on the trigger. I glanced down at the cylinder and counted one, two, three, cartridges. I hopped up from that army surplus steel desk chair the old man saved and cracked my knee real damn good on the underside. Pain shot through my guts like a scythe. I grabbed my knee and rubbed, caveman’s Vicodin.
I looked out towards the service door and saw flames across the bay farthest away. Fire was devouring a stack of discard tires loaded on pallets for the dump. I eyeballed the fire extinguisher right between the old man’s tool box and old refrigerator at the back corner of the garage. I hustled over to that extinguisher with an intention to do the best I could to get things under control before I called the fire department. That plan and any cool focus left me the second I saw that the tower of flaming tires was starting the lean that was going to be a tumble and the landing area was going to be the old man’s arc welder. I could tell you that what ever chemistry was going to come from that recipe was something I was not going to hang around to know.
I blasted open the service door, through the office leaving the Yanks and Orioles to their own. I staggered toward the gas pumps eliciting a ding-ding from the black rubber alarm hose. I dove behind the pay phone in front of my Camaro which was as far away as I could get from the building without standing in the street. I reached around with my right hand and grabbed the phone receiver and pressed the nine, one and one buttons with my middle finger.
“Emergency how can I help you?”
“Yes ma’am I’m out at the Post Hills Exxon and we’ve got a fire.”
“Is there anyone in the building?”
“No ma’am, not anymore, but that fire’s burning pretty dang good there’s some stuff in there that’s probably gonna blow up so y’all might want to hurry.”
The windows of the repair bays blew out sending a shotgun blast of tempered glass toward me. The old man’s station was a ruin, before the first fireman slid down the brass pole. They could break all response time records but the only job they were going to do was cool down the mess for the insurance adjuster.
I watched the flames lick the remains of the lift arms hypnotized by the curtains of heat.
“Hey fella I need you to put that pistol down.”
I startled from my trance just registering the police officer from the corner of my eye. I could see his right index finger undoing the snap of his holster. I put hands in the air then laid the pistol down beside me but my eyes were drawn back to the fire.
“What’s your name?”
“Brodie Gayel, I work here, or used to anyway.”
“Tell me what happened Brodie?”
“I don’t know what in hell just happened. We was watching the ballgame. Jean left. Strawberry hit another homerun in Baltimore. Then I smelled burning tires.”
“How long ago was this?”
“I don’t have no idea, a few minutes, what time is it now?”
“It’s quarter to midnight.”
I looked down at the cracked face of my watch, squinting in an effort to clear my view.
The game was in the sixth inning when Jean left. The last thing she said to me was she needed to hurry to get to the bank by 8. I’m sitting here looking at the shops burning to the ground at quarter to twelve.
“Brodie come over with me to my car, and see if we can get this thing figured out. Leave that gun there, I’ll get it.”
It was just like when Vanna turns over those s’s t’s and r’s. When it all clears up and you know. I knew. All of this. The fire, the glass, the cop, the gun. This was all really happening. And I had no idea of anything between Darryl Strawberry’s second homerun and the smell of burning rubber. And I was walking over to a police cruiser to talk with an officer of the peace about a four hour hole in my consciousness. And it was apparent that in that hole some dangerous shit went down.
“The old man is going to be so pissed.”
“Who’s the old man?”
“My uncle, he owns the place.”
“Was there anyone else working with you tonight?”
Posted at 12:30 pm by Wildolive
Monday, November 24, 2008
Very simple. Click on this and help meet the challenge. Two weeks in and over 6,000 pairs of shoes are going to be sent. 36 days to go, so let's help get this snowball rolling downhill.
Here's an article by Jeff Goins that tells you more. NeueMinistry.com Story by Jeff Goins
Posted at 12:46 pm by Wildolive
Monday, November 03, 2008
November 4, 2008 "The Day America Died"
I sit only hours away from my friends and countrymen and women electing a leftist government to power here in the land of the, soon-to-be formerly, free and home of the manipulated.
It wouldn't bother me if the aforementioned friends and such would have a coherent argument to rationalize the revolution that will happen in mere hours. When asked why they support an unrepentent Socialist in the presidential race, they simply parrot "hope" and "change". At least European leftists don't have a problem admitting to being so. In America, they pride themselves in being "Liberal" and "Enlightened" yet shy away from openly wearing the red star. I also have to mention the Hannity / Rush problem. American conservative talk-radio has so overused the word "Liberal" to define leftists, that it clouds the actual meaning of the word, as well as the issues involved. Liberals are fine. Jesus was a Liberal. Socialists, Marxists, Communists, and Maoists are NOT fine! Those systems have been tried and have always failed. Let's get this fact straight, all Liberals are not Socialists. Hillary Clinton is a Liberal. Mark Warner is a Liberal. Neither of those could truly be called a Marxist ( I know Hillary wrote some things in the 60's, but WHO in her circle then wasn't a leftist) Barack Obama IS, today, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the documented atrocities of Leftist revolutions all over the world, a Marxist, Socialist or to put it midly someone who flew past Liberal on his trip leftward long ago. HELLO, did you bother to look up what a "Community Organizer" was? Lenin would be a good example of a "Community Organizer". That's not a slur, I actually read the books and recognize it when he uses Bolshevic rhetoric in his campaign ads. (Ever wonder why he seems obsessed with dividing us into "class" distinctions? You wouldn't if you'd read Marx)
(I borrowed this picture from a Socialist website, but they shouldn't care because in Marxism there is no such thing as private property)
It is too late, I fear for America. This grand experiment will fail and we will all be victims of the uninformed electorate that Thomas Jefferson warned us about. He, Mr. Jefferson, failed to realize how much more dangerous an ill-informed electorate would be and how crippling to our nation a media would be that is determined to exploit a nation too darn lazy, and/or careless to inform itself.
One fact I will throw out, just on my own understanding of things,Barack Obama will make our financial crisis worse. By the time the mid-term elections roll around in 2010, we won't recognize our country. We will have a television and print media that will dedicate itself to convincing us that our new reality is wonderful. 11% unemployment and 21% interest rates aren't that bad and the castrating of our military is actually a positive step for our security.
Here are some tips.
Buy precious metals now before that is made illegal. (Read your history books, that was one of the things FDR did to "stabilize" the economy, during the Great Depression, also a part of creating the Federal Reserve which may have actually helped us into the mess we're in now. Regulation isn't the answer, it's part of the problem. Gold,silver, platinum and palladium are valued regardless of government manipulation, and actually are more prized when government increases its involvement in financial matters)
Pay off your debts as soon as you can, even if it means taking a second or third job delivering pizza (I'm pretty sure the socializing of our banking system is going to offer some interesting ideas for "spreading" the wealth around. Money and property has to be confiscated before it can be spread. The "bailout" has already set this wheel in motion beyond stopping it, I fear. Remember all the eminent domain issues the Supreme Court was dealing with. Become very familar with that term because eminent domain may become way more eminent)
Buy guns and ammo while they are still legal (If you think I'm an NRA kook, you are mistaken, but the writing is on the wall here. First it will be automatic rifles, then handguns on down the line until the only weapon you'll be allowed to carry is your wits,which will, of course be monitored and possibly censored That's the best way for the Revolution...I mean..Change...to insure there is no counter-revolution....sorry, I mean...Change Back. They only ones with guns are the "Community Defense Forces" Obama proposes to create..read Stasi (East German secret police).
Make every effort possible to make you and your family self sufficient ( Leftist movements of any kind are not possible when people are able to provide their own needs. Leftists always make slaves of their subjects by first promising, then requiring that they meet their daily needs. They can't provide prosperity, they only provide equity. This is only possible when the only entity that is prosperous is the government, oh I apologize..the Revolution...or "Change". They want us all to have one big slave master in Washington. Welfare is already doing this for the poor, soon they'll seek to make us all welfare slaves. We'll get our cars, health care, education, housing, food, jobs, information and everything else to lull us into passivity from unfeeling bureaucrat loyalist party members who are just cogs in the wheel of "Change".)
Learn to live simply. (That will be your only hope to survive and pass on any worthwile future for your children.)
Read and meditate on the Bible, especially the words of Jesus. (We must never forget the only one that truly brings "Hope". Barack Obama is not our Messiah. For that matter, neither is John McCain, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, or the Jonas Brothers. We are not electing God, He is already on His throne. The Church always thrives when it is persecuted, so I'm looking forward to a bountiful harvest.)
Before you think this was all hyperbole, I implore you. Print this out, put it away and check back with me in a couple of years. This isn't uninformed partisan tripe. This is what is happening as we speak. There is a reason that Obama has spent more on advertising than any candidate in history. If you repeat a lie enough times, with enough conviction, people will begin to believe it to be true. 95% of Americans will get a tax cut...only about 60% of Americans actually pay taxes so HOW is that possible? It isn't.
In a few years, America will wake up and realize what has happened. The Revolution came, and most of us weren't paying enough attention to comprehend the fact. It will be too late.
It may already be.
Currently listening to:Mr. A-ZBy Jason Mraz
Posted at 06:57 pm by Wildolive
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm gonna get political for a minute
OK, I posted this reply on the CBSSportsline board to a poll that said..."Will there be riots if Obama loses?
If anyone knows me, they know that I get so frustrated with the pathetic choices in leadership our current system provides us with. Anyhoo....
This is the weakness that our two-party system creates. Two choices are only one more than no choices, and in mine and many other people's case we see this election as yet another, none of the above election.
This has been the case since Ronald Reagen's last term and have given us some of the most ridiculous presidencies in our country's history, a Bubba between two Bushes.
So if Obama wins we get the People's Republic of America. Goodbye compassionate conservatives (whatever the heck that was), and hello compassionate communism.
If Obama loses, we will probably get riots in LA, Oakland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Memphis, Houston, Richmond, Washington DC and New Orleans, just because it sounds like a good excuse. Oh, and John McCain for a president, never has a VP candidate been so important.
The left (using the labor unions and the media) manipulates the poor and minorities while they continue to do what they need to maintain whatever power they have accumulated. The right (using religious leaders and talk radio) manipulates the middle American white church goers, Cubans and the over 55 crowd. They both do it by dangling the fantasy of future security. The left will protect us from greedy companies and rich people by making us subjects to their will, and the right will protect us from terrorists and illegal Mexicans by blowing up Iraqis and building a fence.
What are we left with??? A freakin' mile long shouting match where, ironically enough, neither side is right. I will vote as I always do, but until we rid our system of this dualist nonsense where both sides exist for each other's mutual benefit, WE ALL LOSE!
Posted at 11:36 am by Wildolive
Kingdom Come...not "coming"
Ok, a quick thought on the Lord's Prayer, and semantics. I don't think semantics are unimportant. If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then an important phrase like "Thy kingdom come" should be taken for exactly what it says. Not for what we have made it say by our endless repetition.
If I was to say anything and then follow it by the word "come", that assumes that the preceding object has already come. If we used language like "to come", or " coming" that implies that we are talking about something that is not present.
As an aspiring writer in high school, I used to have a problem with this phrase in the Lord's prayer. I was analyzing this prayer from my American Christian, heaven's waiting room perspective. From that place, we speak of the Kingdom, coming. What I didn't realize is that it wasn't the words that were uncomfortable, but it was my point of view that blurred my understanding of the prayer.
Jesus said over and over that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. It was there. It was present.
When Jesus died, rose again and returned to his disciples, he told them that he would send a helper. The Holy Spirit became the Kingdom's representative on the earth after Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here until Jesus reign is established on the earth. Until Love reigns in the world, we have the Holy Spirit to help us.
This is why we don't sing...Joy to the World the Lord is COMING. He came, and through the Holy Spirit, HE IS STILL HERE!
So thy Kingdom IS come...not is coming.
OK, a kid picture to close.
Posted at 07:19 am by Wildolive
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Here I sit,
I am a waiting on a word from the Lord. I have an opportunity to take a 2nd job. I want to know that I will be serving God through this action and not just holding on to a thread of the American dream. I don't want to do this out of a sense of comfort, but out of sense of serving my family. Trying to enable them a better life with their mom at home.
I'm going to the mailbox, in silence, and I'm'a gonna listen.
More notes on the NWLC later on tonight or tomorrow.
Posted at 11:13 am by Wildolive
Thursday, August 07, 2008
First set of my notes from NWLC
Notes from National Worship Leader Conference
July 22-24, 2008 Riverbend Church Austin, TX
Dr. Leonard Sweet “Jesus singing”
all the thoughts are Dr. Sweet's..the notes are mine
Mark 14:26 …in the upper room, at the last supper they ended with singing of a hymn
“the last thing Jesus did before everything went nuts was to sing”
“My God, My God why have you forsaken me” not a quote or statement but a song title..Psalm 22 similar to saying “Shout to the Lord”…the first line implies the entire song…Jesus sang from the cross
Our job, as worship leaders is not to put words to music, but to use music and words to evoke images. We create metaphors for the people of God.
A metaphor is a metamorphosis. Our mind is made up of metaphors. We don’t remember in words, we remember in images and sounds, our senses. Words are only powerful when they evoke the senses.
Holy metaphors are our business.
“ostraneny (sp?)” --- a Russian term…making the familiar, unfamiliar (“I never thought about THAT, that way”) Jesus ministry was largely made up from this concept (“You have heard it said….but I say”)
Gutenberg was the revolution of the previous era…Google is the revolution of the present era
Ours is a Campaign against the Cliché
1. Design- Everything has to have a design, our culture is all about style, down to our designer coffee, toilet brushes, and handbags (Sex in the City) We needs live designed by Jesus
2. Transformation – practicality, once I was… then Jesus…now I am…
3. Pilgrim (pilgrimage) followers—we spend lots of time training leaders, maybe we should spend more time training followers…disciples of THE leader…Jesus. Very counter intuitive to the expectations of the world
4. Connection- previous generation metaphor was a ladder…the present world, connection more closely resembles a web…how are we building connection?...1/2 of the people on the earth own a cell phone…this is a Google world…an event happens anywhere in the world…in a matter of hours ¾ of people on Earth can know about it…we need to prepare people for that world…not connecting in the Gutenberg world
5. Organic- apple (whole) vs. oranges (segmented)…in the previous era our lives were segmented, religion was just part of what our lives were about….in this area, our lives are a whole and everything we do/are permeates every part of our lives…we aren’t seeking to make the scriptures come alive, we need to help people come alive to the scriptures Diversity means, “not broken into verses or parts” taking into account the entire context…the whole of the scriptures
6. Wind (Spirit)- we are in the spirit business,
The trees don’t move the wind, they bow to the supremacy of the wind, Only by the spirit do we do anything
Wind surfing…the wind blows where it will…if you’re born of the spirit, then you are aware of the wind and the direction and adjust your sails accordingly
7. Harmony- matter is vibrating threads? Unpredictable A church is built from the “sound “ up. Jesus Christ is God’s perfect pitch. He is the song , just as in the NOOMA of rhythm, we are seeking to be in harmony with God’s song
Joy to the World (we sang, it was awesome)
here's another picture from Austin...hanging with Paul Baloche...actually we were eating lunch in the hall where he had just done a workshop, they were actually playing his "Creating Flow in Worship" dvd
on the screen which I watched at Mountain View a few years ago...anyhoo...goes well with Chick-Fil-a
Posted at 02:09 pm by Wildolive
Hey it has been forever since I sat down to write in here. I have been all over the country and seen lots of things and written about them in my journal, but nothing on here. That is so not cool. So, I am on a television fast for the month of August so I'll be looking for other, more worthwile, ways to spend my time. Hopefully, this will be one.
I'll be putting in the notes that I took from the National Worship Leader conference I went to 07/22-24, in Austin, TX. Great information, but alot to keep up with. If I put the notes here, it may help me unpack and put into practice the things I learned.
Posted at 10:50 am by Wildolive
Wheat and Weeds and synergy..I guess
the parable of the wheat and the "weeds"
Here is the problem, I read Matthew 13 today, this parable, and I think to myself. "Self, you should journal/blog your thoughts on this today", "OK", I respond, "I think I shall".
Then I notice my little RSS gadget, and there is a little headline there from the www.jesuscreed.org blog on this very parable today. So in my fleshly way, I feel cheated, yet.......what I will do is reread the parable, do a little more digging and then give some more thought to my own inspiration and write. so ha!
Anyway, pray for me, here goes.
I tried to break down the main characters and incidents in the parable, and what I see. God sowed good seed in the world, ONLY good seed, as the men slept, the enemy came in and sowed weeds, or tares, or thistles. I like thistles the best which is what is used in the Message paraphrase. Thistles are a better representation, for my taste, because while they certainly are weeds, they are so much more pesky than say crabgrass or dandelions, because they have thorns...nasty thorns. Having grown up in the country I have stepped on a few. Not cool! Anyhoo.
So as good grew, so did evil.
This is when the workers woke up and started paying attention. "Hey, where did these weeds come from"...The enemy planted them while you weren't looking. While you were comfortably sleeping.
So what do we do? Master. Do we rip them out of the ground?
Short answer from Jesus, or the man who planted the good seed. NO.
This is where I feel like we, the church, have left the way that Christ has described here, for us. The church does lots of wailing about the weeds, and have tried for hundreds of years, using many different techniques to "gather them up" or "pull them from the soil". This is just what, THE MAN in the story told his workers NOT to do.
It seems to me, that Christ is giving an example of what a sustainable revolution looks like. Real, fundamental, change doesn't come all at once.
The socialist revolution that is taking over in American government has been successful, because it has been subtle, slow and bloodless. The hearts and minds of average citizens have been warmed to the ides. This revolution, which is happening right now, for everyone to see, is happening in degrees. We have the most socialist,conservative administration anyone could ever imagine in Washington DC right now. Most Americans have decided that since this hasn't worked for them, they are preparing to elect a true-to-life Marxist as president. Welcome to the People's Republic of North America. Brilliant! Just as Jesus would've planned it. (absolutely no tongue in cheek whatsoever, I am completely serious..please read on) Liberation Theology, brought to you by CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News.
Of course, if the church would have just followed Jesus. If we had taken this parable seriously as a guide on how to affect real change in our world, Marxism would never have been conceived. It would not have seemed necessary.
The key concept in the parable is this. No..Wait. I have a better way, one that is exactly opposite of what human pragmatism teaches" It's the boiled frog story.
Posted at 10:48 am by Wildolive
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
is too bright
my eyes turn away
my eyes stare at the ground
my eyes gaze beyond
it is too safe
my mind is deceived
my mind remembers not
do i desire the light?
yet the darkness caresses me
like a friend
by Dwight Parker
Posted at 11:33 am by Wildolive