Monday, July 13, 2009

Let it BURN!

There are times when I am full of this murdering rage. When the life of another seems simple and trivial as that of a knot on the end of a balloon – with one twist, one prick, without any hesitation and little force, every inch of air can be cut right out. And the balloon, it will wither and deflate with awful gasps and gaseous groans. It will writhe in the immanent departure of vitality – jerking side to side like a candle struggling in the gust of a door blown open by a tempest wind. And eventually, it will lie pathetic and malformed, lifeless on the ground, and I will envision it with once sultry eyes that have been burnt out. They will beckon me, those eyes, to return to sanity, to return to some sense of decency, but they will have been ill-informed on the manner and nature of my sympathies. For, what the eyes do not know is that dwelling in the cold dark cavern chamber where a heart should be, is the foulest void that is not only lacking anything like feeling, but actually has the power to suck sympathy and life from others like a light ray trying to out run the reach of a dead star; of a black hole.

In that moment, I will imagine that these fake eyes upon this balloon will harbor long and treacherous nights staring into the very core of me as if questioning my motives; as if begging an answer to the question “Why?” I also imagine myself staring back at them in a determined psychosis, laughing.

“There is no ‘why’,” I would say and then heartily explain that I did it for the mere enjoyment of stealing a balloon from a child to watch it deflate!

Yet still, other ideas come to mind, in the times of such macabre imaginings – in those moments of folly or triumph…depending on your perspective. Like one might think death on another to be swift and forceful, and the only fitting metaphor is actually more an associate of sound. It would be like the puff of wind that blows out from something enormous hitting something else enormous and then silenced – like a boulder falling hundreds of feet to the earth, exasperating all of its fine kinetic energy in a single blow of force, and then simply rolling to one side in an almost post coital dose. That would be the end of a life! Grandiose and extreme – but only a moment’s breathe in length. I can imagine people around standing dazed as to whether or not the killing they had just seen was one that had actually taken place or if, by some miracle, it was no more than the flash of some inventive subliminal marketing scheme trying to get them to drink soda more or have sex better or make their kitchens cleaner or die later, but there the evidence would lie pooling at their feet or splattered upon their faces. It would be that hard evidence to reassure them that they were witnesses to such a crime – if indeed one could call it that. Again, maybe it is all but a game of perspective.

But one should not be crass, there must be some reason for these instances of psychosis, for without reason, death by the hand of another is something crude altogether. It is like a prostitute’s kiss – it is something that seems like it should be a natural part of a common proceeding, yet it is strangely out of place. What sort of action can bring someone to the point of such confusion; to such madness as to drive and crack the mind into hinterworlds of homicide where the ground drinks blood and the stomach longs for nothing more than the entrails of another. Perhaps, and I am no expert, it is mere agitation. Maybe, when there is the presence of some sort of overt annoyance like the buzzing of another in the ear when they come far too close to the face than would naturally be expected, and the stink of them seeps into the lining of your nostril and their very air blows lightly onto your neck where no breath beyond a lover’s should be - when it ceases to stop at the appropriate distance that marks a place of comfort. Perhaps, it is when the one is left with wringing hands and a sweating brow because of a mere sound made by another. Maybe, the mind is more fragile than would have been previously implied – maybe this psychosis lingers so close to the natural frame of mind that it is not really so foreign but a true mark of conformity. Maybe it is so close to all of us that it IS the natural, and its suppression is the true psychosis.

And maybe the one who is reading this will give stern warning to me for their distaste of the reproachful subject. Maybe, they would soon rather see me ostracized than read any more of this garbage. “And you call yourself a Christian – respectable – decent- whatever,” they would say, and I would murmur with that rabid foam of murder still trickling from my chin, as it droops down to stain the shirt upon my chest, that I apologize for nothing. For, even now as it alights upon my knee giving little electric ticklish jolts, and while it prods around my thick layer of hair and flaps near my ear with a high pitch squealing buzz, I have no sympathy for this little fly that has invaded my home or the millions of friends I know it will bring with it tomorrow. So, when I catch it I will crush it, and I will dance upon its body with the exuberance of ten marching bands on a Thanksgiving Day parade! And I shall be at peace!

But for now, let this heart blaze with a fury like Jupiter! Let it rage with the sounding of Mars’ battle horn! Let it brood like the furthest depths of Hades’ kingdom!

Let this heart burn! Let it burn! Let it burn!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Juarez Reflection: Quiero Mi Ciudad en Paz!

This is a chat I had with a friend as the violence in Juarez heated up and our ministry began to fall apart.

Random – Hey!

Matt – ‘sup poopster? I am going to start calling you poopster

Random – Poopster? Matt? Really?

Matt – Yep. Just changed it in my phone!

Random – Little Jerk!

Matt – You are no longer “El Weenie”!

Random – Was it really “El Weenie?”

Matt – Yep, It always has been!

Random – you would. I didn’t know that!

Matt – We had a talk about this remember?

Random – uh huh.

Matt – Whatevs poopster!

Random – (sigh) oh gosh!...;/ How are things down thur?

Matt – Mexican –y… with Mexicans.

Random – you’re in a weird mood, aren’t you? I think I like it!

Matt – I guess. Today is my office day – I am a little loopy right now.

Random – haha! Nice! Office Day?

Matt – You know – we sit around and do blogs and finances and stuff. I don’t go to Juarez on Fridays

Random – where are y’all staying right now?

Matt – a church on this side…on our side.

Random - …how is it?

Matt – its cool – kind of stifling. We stay in the basement dorms. Its ok.

Random – mmmhmmm. How are your teammates?

Matt – cool. We don’t really have any major conflicts –we aren’t as “all across the board” as my team was last year.

Random – Is it safe to assume that’s a good thing?

Matt – mmm. Just different

Random – How’s Juarez?

Matt – Bloody. Like the Wild West.

Random – Really?

Matt – Yep. Here is a little taste:

Two weeks ago, a man was dropped off in front of the police station missing three appendages, burned beyond recognition, and a sign was posted basically saying that the cartels were going to do this to whoever got in their way. The main prosecutor for corruption in the police force, and the man who was promising protection for journalists in the cartel situation, was gunned down in broad daylight with a journalist in his car.

Random – I don’t even know what to say to that. Are you okay?

Matt – Yeah, its just nerve racking – there are a lot of folks who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Random – I would tell you to be careful, but it doesn’t even sound like there’s much you can do.

Matt- Some of our community members from site one are saying that the cartel members are going to their children’s schools to demand money from the teachers and if they don't pay they are going to start stealing kids. One kid was found in TJ (Tijuana) with acid injected into his veins.

What do we do when they tell rich American missionaries that if we don't pay, a child we love is going to die, or a mother is going to be executed or they are going to set fire to one of the churches we work for? What do we do when they demand injustice or our community will suffer?

Suddenly, we are responsible for the death or torture of a child in our community let alone what might happen to us - you know?

Random – I am still speechless

Matt - There was one guy that one of the interns was talking to who said that someone from the cartel came to his shop and demanded that he pay $5000 a month (well, the equivalent in pesos, anyway) from his earnings or they would execute him. He caught the guy on tape, identified him, took it to the police, and they told him they could do nothing about it. "Here are your options man, starve killed!"

Random – I just can’t even imagine.

Matt – yeah, its just way beyond some of the petty nonsense we had to deal with last year.

Random – Yeah, I’d say.

Matt - I saw A---'s son the other day on the street, and I just prayed he didn't recognize me, because we are pretty sure he is the one who coordinated breaking into our house when it was ransacked a couple months back. That is why we decided to leave – you know?

Random – really? Oh, wow!

Matt - In that neighborhood - the police have told us they won't even show up for a call until 45 min later - they just don't want to deal with it. there is no consequence, no justice, if A--- Jr. were to just go on a rampage you know?

Random – It just makes me sick

Matt - yeah, it churns my stomach pretty much every day. I was convinced I was getting an ulcer over it last week my stomach hurt so bad

Random - oh Matt...
I just really don’t even know what to say.

"Juarez Reflections"

It is true that I no longer am doing missions work in Juarez, Mexico. My time there, for the present, has ended, but there was much about the experience I did not say; there was much I wanted you to know. Now that things in my life have "settled" so to speak, following the wedding and post Mexico craziness, I hope to relay to you life, philosphy, theology, and everything I can think to pen, but mostly this note is meant to let you know that all the following blogs entitled "Juarez Reflection" are things I wanted to say and never did or are things I had been working on to tell you when it all (the ministry) fell apart. That said, enjoy!