Category Archives: Odds and Ends

I’m Not Fine (And That’s Fine)

I don’t write funny stuff very much anymore. You may have noticed.

Part of this lack of humor is due to time and distance that have removed me from the halls of fundamentalism and worn smooth the hard places needed for creating cutting satire. These days I curate more than I create and that’s ok. I couldn’t possibly write parody that is crazier than the real life examples we see all around us.

There is another reason, however. It’s rather hard to write humor when you’ve been battling depression for years. And I have been in that fight for longer than I’ve been willing to admit for reasons that are many and deeply personal. I’ll tell you all about it the next time you buy me a cup of coffee or a glass of brew.

There are still flashes. There are moments when the old fire burns bright and the words flow. Those are the good days and they’re often few and far between.

I’m not fine.

But here’s the beautiful thing about not being fine — it puts you in some of the best company in the world. I’ve called and e-mailed and texted and PM’d dozens of people over the last few years who aren’t fine either. They’re people with lost identities. They’re families with financial issues and relationships that seem beyond repair. They have old cars that won’t always start and old anxieties that always seem to. They lose sleep. They lose their jobs. They lose their tempers. Sometimes they’ve all but lost hope.

I’ve learned a lesson in those conversations. Somewhere along in the darkness I found this thought and wrote it in lines:

Beyond the years of pain and bliss
The “Why?” of life is only this:
To love someone and be loved too.
The Why of life is me. It’s you.

Maybe you’re one of the fellowship of unfine souls. Maybe in the words of song you don’t have dream that remains unshattered or a friend who feels at ease. If that’s you then you’re in the right place.

Six years later this is what SFL is to me — it’s where nobody has to be fine. Whether ex-fundy, never-fundy, sort-of-fundy, or just plain confused you can feel free to set down the mask and gently fall to pieces.

Welcome. Grab a plate and find a seat. You’re home.

Here there is love. Let it always be so.

Fear of Punishment

I flinched and waited for the blow descending from above
for the Bible tells me so that punishment is love.
What I had done I was not sure, but sin is everywhere —
each step and breath deserve the lash; the paddle shows His care.
When ‘be ye perfect’ is the creed what hope have mortals here?
Can yokes be easy, burdens light when weighted down with fear?
I cowered there a minute more but only silence fell
so I trudged on a weary mile. Some grace feels much like hell.