Friday, December 31, 2010

bravely into the next

It's been a beautiful day here in Portland. I mean really something. Clear skies for the first time in weeks, sunny, very brisk, but not so windy! In the crisp stillness my hands dried out to bleeding while walking around downtown in the afternoon. But I rarely have felt so alive, so it's a welcome tradeoff. (Besides, that's what L'Occitane is for...)

I remember a moment two and a half years ago, looking out Amy's window one evening into the downtown skyscrapers, full of fear and anxiety about everything imaginable... and as soon as I considered the cityscape, I was suddenly very aware of the Lord. I knew in that moment that everything was going to be fine. I cannot tell you how reassuring this was to me then.

Now just after sunset, looking out this window from my 18th floor apartment into the exact same skyscrapers just a few blocks away... life is very different for me. My heart is wide open. I am well aware that I am a very blessed man.

It's not that everything is perfect... it's just about the journey now. Why ever dwell on the imperfection when we have an opportunity to fix, to move?

The end of an era, and bravely into the next.
Everything is the same, but also completely different.
And with every new beginning comes the opportunity for a deeper understanding, a deeper surrender.
For everything that is good, may my life be a sacrifice to the heart of God.

Monday, December 27, 2010

push pull

Some mornings I wake up and your opinion is the only thing in the world that matters to me. Other mornings I really couldn't care less. I think it has to be this way; a balancing act to keep myself sane. Push, pull.

two thoughts on attracting a mate

  1. Are you exactly who and what you want to be? No? Get there.
  2. If he/she doesn't understand why they would want to be with you now, then what's going to change that? Either they change or you do. I wouldn't hold my breath—

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This city in its unusual stillness, it gives me a space to breathe

I breathe in, I breathe out, unabated

I know how blessed I am

I can only hope for that you would feel the same

Monday, December 20, 2010

On Saturday I saw "The Last Samurai". It was a good reminder of certain important things. I want to live my life with honor.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And with that, night falls quickly, unapologetically, and the day ends without another word. A light snow turns into solid rain, pelting the ground with a discipline, as if to warn me against trying to venture outside to take another shot at turning a theory, a lead, into something warm; it would be fruitless. I'm returned instead to the gigantic, dark silhouette of this city, dotted by fragments of light, which have become so familiar that it takes many moments to be reminded that there is a reason for each and every one of them. So my mind is like the picture of this city outside my windows.

There are two questions remaining to be answered—or, that perhaps I know the answers to already but am too afraid to admit.
The first is wether or not my mind will escape the cycle of day or night.
The second is, if it does not, wether or not the daylight's passing will ever become easier to brave.

The first, who clung half-heartedly to something that had breath but was dead anyway, reminded me that companionship is a hard thing to consider being without.
The second, whose eyes welled up at a time not of her choosing, reminded me that some things about love are a lot simpler than they appear on the surface, and especially when a love had simply run its course.

These things which we are never to be able to fully understand, about which we behave so strangely for most of our days......

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Adorable little semi-non-Caucasian emo-ey girl at Maya's, alone, staring out the window taking the last sips of a Corona (in fact, she did the tipping motion to finish the bottle twice). She sits there in the same state for like 20 minutes, and her mind's just spinning, spinning, thinking about something. Well CLEARLY she's wondering why that reasonable looking gentlemen in the double-breasted overcoat won't just stop doing the creep-glance already and come talk to her (aforementioned gentlemen is ME [[DUH]])

So I definitely did. not. do anything.
I sat there and pecked on my iPhone, trying to work, simultaneously trying to figure out how to work on her, yeeeeeee—
Then after nothing happened, we both retreated to the same Starbucks afterward, super by accident... and I looked like a mad creeper so I bought my coffee and I biz-ailled

Emo girls alone in Mexican restaurants are hella hard targets. Most especially considering my weakness; one, for Mexican food, which makes for stink-breath, and stink-else, and then yeah,
yes I DO have one for these types, all wallowing around town with tall socks and skinny black coats and chucks and in their melancholy states and pouty faces and making up adorable songs on their Hello Kitty guitars. That is FOR ME.

Seriously guys, I'm enjineered to sit there on the couch at their mom's place with my arms wrapped around their frail bodies and do semi-spaced-cuddle-therapy on with them while neither of us say a word, and then when she's not so cloud maybe I'll download another episode of Arrested Development off Hulu — I don't know, I honestly still think Avril Lavigne is hot

I think I like these girls because they are smart, but not necessarily productive, and... they do not look like me. I definitely like the thought of getting back to being in a suit, arm-in-arm with some little punked-out tattoo'ed girl who's sort of giving the world The Finger without giving it at all (mom is. cringing. sorry mom.)


Reading back through my blog, I find myself saying "Oh, what do you know?!"

Now what to do with it...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Her presence moves me to strive for utter perfection.
Her expressions beckon me to unscramble this most noble puzzle,
The one that at the center of lies her true heart—

I've been thinking lately "I guess I am a man now"
But when she smiles at me
God says something about what it would take
To actually be a man

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It occurred to me over dinner, with who seemed at first to me an unlikely character, as he told me about a warrior horseman that revealed himself upon a request in prayer— first in the sounds of the horse running up, and then in stature—

The warrior brought with him a palpable presence, described to me as unlike anything ever felt before, a divine moment... and after this moment a new path was revealed, and then it was taken...

"I mean, I don't know, what's your take on all of this?" he asked me, while he pointed all around the room, at life.

I put down my fork and thought for a moment.

"God is so big, I can't believe I could ever have Him boxed in."

All that I know of the truth is given to me through Him for that moment alone, and the next moment, I am completely back at His whim. I believe this is why we are required to be in constant seeking

Monday, July 26, 2010

create, part 2

No, no, I don't need to "become" an artist. I just need to be diligent with what I've been given. But don't we all?

But even before that happens I have to finish straightening my own path to some God-mandated degree before I continue moving forward; otherwise I'll be wasting more time.

And it's not for the attention of other people. In fact I'm shamed I let myself get so off-track and so confused. Any act, any product, should only be to exemplify the true and pure nature of God. It needs to be completely selfless, and it'll be worthless until it gets there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The people getting the attention, deservedly, have something to show for it. They have a tangible product of their efforts. I do not, and if I want to move forward, that has to change.

Wether it's a truly great website, an interactive piece, film, album, or book, it doesn't really matter to me. I have enough to express now; I just need be diligent and do it.

I have to become an artist.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Part of this living out 100% concept (which I need to coin a new term for) is that when, through observation, you recognize you could be doing something better, you figure out a way to do it better, rather than getting down about the fact that you aren't already doing it better.

I should be very happy when I discover I'm not doing something as well as I could be, simply because I've discovered it... That is a new opportunity for me to improve as a human being.

There's no way for us to change the past, but there is something we can do to affect our future.

fanaticism realized

Since Tuesday I have begun to build a much deeper appreciation for giving that 100% in every task I take on, in every aspect of life. Life has been more rich than I can ever recall, and yet it's only the beginning.

Earlier today I was scribbling around in my portfolio, and I wrote

What lies hold us back from what God wants for us?

I had the song "Woman in Chains" stuck in my head much of the afternoon and so I decided to do a little homework on its underlying meaning. I found this interview that reveals, if nothing else, how deeply Roland Orzabal was thinking and exploring when he wrote these songs, which in turn helps me understand perhaps why I'm so fascinated by them.

The album took years and millions of dollars to create. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I didn't really know what to do with all the weight I felt after I watched the iPhone 4 keynote.

At least, I myself could not sit and be unaffected emotionally by this work of art, this tool that possesses so much raw power to enrich lives and bridge gaps between human beings. Having even the slightest idea of what kind of depths these guys has to dig down inside of themselves to do what they did, to be completely fanatically good and thorough because they could, because they wanted to, or because they even felt like they needed to... made it even more difficult for me to consume. The iPhone 4 is a bewildering product of unbridled passion, a product of the same raw heart and raw potential that serves as the fundamental reason of God-devised humanity. It terrified me.

I had to stop for a moment and take a walk. I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed for the park.

Something inside of me was down as I walked among these beautiful trees in perfect weather. I watched the college students roam to and fro, bags in hand, simply enjoying the absence of rain and the light breeze; hopefully not contemplating too deeply what was the meaning of life or of passion, but simply enjoying the present time for what it was.

I started to feel sick and realized I needed to eat some food, so I planted myself in the corner of a burrito place next to the window.

About halfway into my meal, this beautiful girl appeared outside, and as she walked by we took brief notice of each other for a moment. I wondered to myself what she saw. It seemed fairly obvious to me; a young man who eating a burrito in a corner of a restaurant alone. A young man who seemingly wasn't living life as passionately as he could have been. And less than 100% is, quite simply, less than 100%. In this condition, how could I ever hope to attract a normal and beautiful girl?

Something inside me whispered a bit of truth. It was completely and utterly up to me wether or not I used every amount of potential I was given; wether or not I was in fact going to be the bewildering product of unbridled passion that God designed me to be.

Every moment of every day, it is, a decision.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

spare time

Life is strange. Things are changing all the time, but then sort of not at all. A life changes completely and then changes right back to where it started. Everything is new but also completely cyclical.

And here I am sitting at the end of something and the beginning of something else, having achieved most if not all of everything that I wanted to achieve when I was younger (dismissing what I haven't "achieved" through realization of its lack of place or necessity in my life), and I'm not sure so much anymore what I want or need.

I feel very blessed; this is a good place to be.

But with this blessing comes enormous responsibility. I've been granted time. What do I choose to do with it?

Friday, May 21, 2010

calibration for accurate measurement

In the last two weeks since Michele and I broke it off, I've experienced a lot of feelings and many uncertainties. Here are the things I am certain about:

  • I need to be concerned every day with re-calibrating myself with my actual greater purpose rather than the narrow short-sided view of it I have by default.
  • I have a certain list of tasks that I am responsible for and I need to get those tasks gracefully put to bed before I take any more tasks on.

For some reason this same question keeps coming up randomly in conversation; I don't know how... maybe I keep going there. What would I do if Sarah ever showed up on my doorstep needing something? It's probably one of my most confident answers to anything anymore... she would have whatever she or the kids needed...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

status update

I'm not convinced that I'm supposed to be in a relationship, a marriage, or any sort of normal, typical existence for the rest of this life

I'm not convinced I'm supposed to be right here right now

and I'm pretty sure there's nothing I know for sure.

So absurd...

Monday, May 17, 2010


empty box

I pushed through and reached a milestone tonight. I've finished the physical portion of a project to sort and file years of neglected personal and business paperwork and records, a project I started in earnest about three years ago.

Tonight I am effectively paperless. I have less weight to carry with me. Tonight I can choose to be more responsible going forward, or to not... but at least I have the choice now.

I am thankful that God has been helping me reduce my load for the last couple of years. I'm thankful for the circumstances He allowed me to be placed in the last couple weeks, tough or not, since through those circumstances I was provided a clearer means to get this done.

I'm thankful for some personal sanity, a few good friends and for the opportunity to repair old and lost friendships. I'm thankful for the support my family has given me over time.

I'm thankful to you, the reader of this blog, for continuing to read...

One step closer to a [ freer colin ]...
I just found the notes for a sermon I delivered probably eight years ago. I skimmed them, very briefly, careful not to read too many words before burying them in the shred bin.

I think what scares me the most about them, and my past, is the unbridled naivety. Sort of like my life right now...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

well goodbye then

Michele abruptly broke it off Saturday, leaving me more than a little confused about a lot of things. At 10 weeks, it was her longest-standing real relationship, and by quite a shot my shortest.

No one entry will provide all closure... so this will have to do for now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


For debate. Unless the possibility of waste or failure is a reasonable deliberate outcome, first the steps to success must be well understood, and the foundation must be set into place. Only when the freedom is granted/earned to explore should such exploration occur. Otherwise it is noise that is emanated whilst barreling down the road of the unknown.

Also, how can we expect to be of any use to others if our own path is not straight?

  1. tryingly or unremittingly severe in making demands
  2. requiring careful attention and precision

I'd like to think of it as deliberate action rooted in confidence. Confidence of the sort that is not invented but attained.

I am not supposed to know the outcome of my life, nor could I if I wanted to... but if I am attentive to what I have now, and seek as deeply as I can to use it all thoroughly and carefully... what more then could I do?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Still not the time to press forward; holding back, holding back...

Happy Saturday night

Thursday, January 28, 2010


She asked how I was, and I started talking. Fairly fearlessly, as I usually do; I've got standby material, an armor suit of carefully-considered answers, an outer plating hardened by sparks from years of Black-smithing situations when the shape didn't suit me well enough. It's always fine.

None of that helped in this moment. Her eyes came to me, and then pierced, effortlessly.

I started feeling this very reminiscent sting. It was a yellow warning sign, a red flag half-hidden in the brush, a kind but concerned whisper from the heart of a best friend... a dead body in the closet. But I ignored it and I kept babbling; I guess I subconsciously figured that if I kept on with my normal routine, I would suddenly somehow have come full circle to have explained myself completely, and then she would be satisfied.

Upon looking down I noticed blood. She, too, probably noticed, but didn't say much.

If she was disappointed, I couldn't have blamed her. After all, I'd blown out my subtext marketing budget hanging posters of my face photoshopped on a 2010 model of the Titanic.

There is still time for both of us in our own rights, but if I want to be of some actual use, if I want to be actually unique, I first have to endure a blunt re-introduction to the enemy I hate the most: myself.

"I am such bullshit."
Ahhhhh, there we go. Reconciliation. Zero-deficit.

Are these the newest, hippest trends, or the oldest and most forgotten keys to breathing freely?

go find your Creator

I've been stuck on this kick in my head about how if you're "following the will of the Lord", then every other consideration is auxiliary or irrelevant. I feel like people—myself included—often get hung up on details when that isn't necessary. We won't always understand everything about our direction but we can move with confidence once we've been given the green light... only if we have the deeply-rooted confidence that comes from enough prayer and careful consideration. To me it is pretty clear: if you're not getting the answer, pray more. Seek God until He opens the door, and don't move until then.

What a difference following that simple rule has made in my life over the last 18 months. And what a disaster it was when I didn't know these things.

Another way to think about this concept is that in any given situation you're always following something, and that something always falls into one of two categories: God or not-God.

The one not being with Me is against Me, and the one not gathering with Me is scattering!

--Matthew 13:30

If you need something even less abstract, take a look at the people around you, and consider your own future, then look at your direction in all aspects of life and the decisions you make. Are they benefiting you in the here-and-now, or are they changing the future of you and your fellow human beings for the better? That is at least a step towards a better life.

But in the end, there is still this problem, that we can't understand everything that happens in the mind of man or on this Earth; we are left with either best-guessing or God-truth to rely upon. Guessing (and its frequent failure) does not appeal to me.

Is life really that black-and-white? Take it from someone who blindly stumbled around in the grey of uncertainty for some 24 years: When you want to see the difference in the colors, when you want to be able to sort truth from lies and reality from fiction, throw away your religion, your attempts to explain how we got here and why, in all of its Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, atheistic and other forms, and go find your Creator.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

unresolved deficits

Outside of the here-and-now, day-to-day, there are two types of activities I waste my time on. There is the resolution of deficits, which for me means paying back loans, cleaning my house, fixing all of my broken things, finishing paperwork, taking proper care of health issues, etc. And then there are the extra-curricular activities... those activities that make me "better", but that I don't need to be doing, or getting any better at, for my livelihood.

While extra-curricular is great—essential even—I'm finding that such activities are best left for a time when I am at the liberty of being truly debt-free: a zero-item to-do list.

I'm continually amazed at how much planning and analysis makes a difference in everything! If I sit down and update my list of what needs to be resolved, I will know how much I have to do and how to get there, yet again.

I might not be able to have it right now, but if I get this fixed now, when I do have it, it will be so much better.

Side-note: Any given person, thing, or environment has its limitations. However, the recognition of a limitation is also the recognition of an opportunity for improvement, if you allow yourself to see it that way.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

making progress

It's quite simple, really—

1. Stop the excuses
2. Find a way to make it happen

I don't get why so many people do not understand this.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

do your job

Love was too much for me, and then I began to cave.

I laid face down on my bed, then I sat on the bed, then down on the hard floor. Crossed legs on the floor in the dark of a high-rise room with no lights and the curtains drawn. I sat in front of the tea I made from stale bags I've had for years, and I sobbed off and on, face down in my hands for about half an hour, "What am I supposed to do
what am I supposed to do
what the fuck is wrong with me

All these spirits, the room was thick with them and they were all having their own say with me in their raised voices, I paced in small circles and came right back around exactly where I had started. I reached down to put my face back in the tea, and I drank.

Things got quiet. I took another drink.

I was shown my chair, and so I sat down.

I then reached down and pulled my belongings up off the floor and put them on my desk, and then I sat there.

And then A Voice in my head spoke— "Do your job."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Let's all go, let's all throw away more of our lives.

Let's be reckless. Let's lob these things into the abyss so that they will never show themselves again, so that we never have to face them.

Let's set fire to the ship because we can't figure out how to make it go. And then let's huddle on the beach together and laugh nervously and forget that we burned our way out of here.

Let's discover a wound and accidentally scream out "Me, me!", but if someone rushes to our aid, let's pretend it never existed, so that they don't see us at the mercy of anything.

Let's push these boxes around into different places; let's rearrange the maze because we still find ourselves lost in it.

Let's lower our own price so that we can sell more of ourselves, and then let's be crushed when the buyer throws it away like the disposable that it has become. Let's give it away for free when all else fails.

Let's witness a miracle, and then stab it in the heart, because sometimes it hurts less to kill than to be humbled.

Let's grow tired of it all, take our torches and burn it all down, walk in a circle to feel like we're in a new place, and then build something else expecting it to be better somehow this next time.

Let's hastily bury our past alive because we can't kill it, and let's expect it never to rise from its makeshift grave.

Let's ridicule the innocent, let's attack the weak. Let's use the fire of our tongues to mask the fact that we aren't actually weaker than all of these.

Let's massacre love. Let's tie the noose around its neck as hard as we can muster the strength, let's pull so hard our muscles strain, our teeth grind, our eyes pop. Let's hang it up in the public square, scream and yell, pull the door, and watch its arms open wide to us as it gasps for a last breath and falls. And then let's walk away, heads down in disgust; it eluded us but now it will elude us no longer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What if? God is trying to get you to ditch yourself so you can get something much better?

What are you holding on to?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

abstract vs. concrete, part 1

At some point in life I would endeavor to have two different rooms, a "clean room" and a "dirty room".

The clean room would have blank walls, no furniture, and a hardwood floor on which to sit and read, ponder, or pray. It would serve as a "sterile" environment, of sorts, with no distractions.

Progress would be made in such a room, but only in intangible ways. That's why the dirty room is a necessity; it is the opposite of the clean room, generally speaking, where tangible progress is made. It contains tools to help execute on the ideas that come from the clean room, where ideas are born with more clarity.

Since I realized this desire last month, it's been very striking to me how much this notion of recognizing and balancing both the abstract and the concrete needs to occur for healthy living. In the past I've fallen heavy onto one side or the other. Many times I've attempted to do way too many things at one time without appropriately planning or considering what to do. I've also spent too much time considering situations at times when I should have been out executing (generally, helping or attending to people) and opportunities have been missed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

some lessons

Some lessons I have learned in the last 10 years, all of which I have really learned in the last 3.

  • Having the "best intentions" is not enough.
  • There is a difference between 99% honest and 100% honest; honesty is black and white.
  • When you are in debt, you are in debt not only the face value of the loan but also the face value of your life.
  • Prayer isn't for God, it is for man. The prayerful man weathers the storm far better; the prayerful man has a better idea of what to do.
  • Fully knowing or understanding is out of reach.
  • Following blindly is far worse than standing still.
  • Growth is found most in the things that hurt us the most.
  • I fail because I was designed to fail. Yah'shua, His very name, translates to "God saves". He designed a system in which He is the always necessary savior. I suppose being God and all, He has this right, and it seems like a bad idea for me to try and operate against that.

I wrote less in 2009 because my head was down in the books. I wonder how 2010 will be different.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I become obsessed with measuring my success by concrete accomplishment, failing to remember that these things were designed to take time.