Posted in 2015, fiction, Writing

Tomorrow

Couple of years ago I went through something that was inexplicable, unexplainable…something that I admit brought me down to a place that was one of my lowest points. I never really talked about it to anyone except my parents and some close friends…but this story came from it.

TW: Thoughts of suicide. NB: I didn’t ever think of suicide…but this was my way of processing my thoughts. I wasn’t in a good place. But, I had God. And my creativity and words.
Continue reading “Tomorrow”

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Posted in 2015, fiction, my writing

The Uprising – Chapter Four [Finally!]

Dark
Robbie
‘Darkness’
Noun
1.     The partial or total absence of light
2.     Wickedness or evil
Joshua reckons I’m a nerd.  I can’t help it that I’ve read the dictionary a hundred times over.  Words are fascinating.  And I like to write.  Today’s Word of the Day…darkness.  I don’t think I ever thought too hard about what that meant until I met Pips.  He’s an intriguing personality.  Argumentative, yet tender-hearted; loud, brash with a mouth that’s probably been washed with soap countless times, but willing to lend a hand at all times.  Contemplative, melancholic but exhibiting a sense of joy that I haven’t seen in another person since. 
I know, I know…I shouldn’t tell you all this straight away.  Should feed you description piecemeal.  But, I think it’s important to acknowledge what kind of person he was from the beginning. 
I guess this is kind of an obituary of sorts.  Tough to write, cathartic though.  Necessary.  It’s taken me a while to process what happened in our shared pasts. 
You see, being the ‘kid’ of the operation was exhausting, especially when I felt I had a lot more to contribute.  I like to believe that Pips gave me that out.  He recognised the kindred spirit within me and gave me free reign to make my own decisions, and face the consequences of my actions.  Of which there were many.  Not all bad, but not all good.
The first time meeting him was an awkward experience.  It wasn’t even something I’d expected.  I was out the front of the house, mowing the lawn when I heard raised voices from the neighbours and loud barking.  Mum told me later on that Elliott’s new puppy was the biggest mongrel going…not that I ever came to agree with that sentiment.  But, that’s not really important. 
The dog died at any rate.  Lachlan ended up having to shoot it to save us…but that’s a story for another time.
I went to investigate, God alone knows why.  I’m not given to being nosy at the best of times.  Elliott was out the front with a man that I think everyone would recognise.  The face of a criminal was always made well known in the City. 
Phillip Preston.  His face was plastered all over the city; wanted posters mainly.  His most striking feature those luminous eyes.  The darkness in their depths commanded attention, and received it.  Whenever I rode passed them on my bike, I couldn’t help but be drawn to his gaze.  Forever trying to decipher the emotions with them.  Something I tend to do with everyone, to be honest…
However, I hadn’t known that he was related to my neighbour, not until the reports on the news said that he’d been paroled.  Who could even imagine someone such as Pips McGee – I’ll come back to that name later by the way…he is a Preston after all – would be the brother of someone as strait laced as Elliott Preston.  Though, even Elliott ended up surprising me. 
Elliott looked over, catching my eye as Pips, who was the one doing the yelling, ranted at him.  Something about how the guards at The Astor were a bunch of “mothereffing bastards” who wouldn’t know how to shoot anyone even if they had targets painted on their foreheads.  Awkward. 
Elliott lifted a hand in my direction, I nodding in return because that was the polite thing to do.  Elliott came over, leaving his brother to keep going.
“Hey, kid.”
I smiled, glancing over at Pips.  “I didn’t realise…”
“The City Bomber is my brother?” Elliott shook his head.  “He’s always unexpected.  Came into this world a surprise.  Probably leave it that way, too.”  That was definitely the truth…
Leaning against the fence, I observed him for a moment.  Pips tugged a bag from the back of Elliott’s truck, propping it against the side of the vehicle, still muttering to himself.  In person, he didn’t seem as intimidating as the media portrayed him, but it wasn’t as if I’d ever met him.  Not sure how that could be since Elliott had lived next to us since I was really little.
“He’s never lived with me.” Well, that would explain that…
I looked at Elliott.
“No?”
He sighed.  “Pips spent most of his time in trouble.  He’s that square peg trying to fit in a round hole.  Doesn’t fit.”  Elliott grimaced.  “I’m just glad he didn’t go the way others are…have gone.” I noticed his correction and knew why, grimacing myself.
“We don’t talk about Lachlan.” 
“Figures.  I’m sorry, kid.”
There was a pause then. 
I’m not sure what it was, but there was something that Elliott wasn’t saying.  The fact that he was even bringing up my cousin was odd in itself.  I was aware they were long-time friends, but Elliott was as sentimental as a brick.
“I don’t let it get to me.  Got my own life to think about.” Though that didn’t stop me from thinking things that I knew I shouldn’t.  Lachlan’s impending execution…the fact that he even got arrested.  Not something I would admit to spending my thoughts on.
Elliott chuckled and said, “We all do.  But, having a criminal in the family makes you see society a little differently.”  He slapped a hand against the railing then turned to head back to his brother. 
I thought about his parting words and that word ‘darkness’ came to my mind again.  Society was a lot darker these days.  And I don’t even know what it was that made it feel that way.  It hadn’t directly affected me, and even with Lachlan’s incarceration it still wasn’t something that made any difference to my life. 
Until Elliott turned around and came back to the fence and asked me if I wanted to come over for a drink. 
                                         ****
Now, when Elliott asks you in for a drink the one thing you don’t do is refuse.  The thing is, his invitation is never about the actual act of drinking.  It’s a pretext to something a lot more important.  I found that out that fateful day…
Ha.  Fateful day.  It’s still difficult to get my head around why I even walked through the door, accepting his invitation.  Perhaps my mind was still in turmoil over my cousin’s predicament.  Subconsciously speaking.  Perhaps it was just mere curiosity; or sheer bloody mindedness.  Who knows?  I walked through that door…into…well, into a neat, uncluttered space that was confronting in its tidiness.  Even more so when you consider that the abode looked like the home of a little old granny, and not two thirty-something year old men.  One a bounty hunter and the other a criminal.
Flower-printed pottery lined the bench and the fresh aroma of…
“Is that bread I smell?” I asked, stupidly. 
Elliott’s lips twitched in a semblance of a smile.  “Baked it this morning.  Pips eats it.” 
I nodded, casting my eyes around the room.  A small round table took up the central area with three chairs spaced around it.  The glass top reflected the light of a row of globes that hung from the ceiling.  The most notable objects in the room though were upon that table.  Weapons.  Firearms of assorted variety.  Small, large, some quite clunky and old-fashioned others sleek and glinting metallically in their modernity. 
Blinking several times, I tried to come up with something to say as Elliott walked over and lifted what I recognised to be a shorn-off shotgun.  Words escaped me for the first time in my life.  Good thing he decided to explain.
“We’ve got a plan, kid.” He picked up a rag and started to rub it along the length of the barrel. 
I lifted an eyebrow.  “Plan to do what?”
Elliott sighed, glancing over at Pips who was busy making some toast.  His brother’s eyes flickered to the side then refocused on the task at hand. 
“Your cousin.  You close?”
I wasn’t sure where he was going with this line of questioning but I decided honesty was the best policy here.
“We used to be.  But, then he started going a little strange…” If you could call breaking all contact with the family and subversively trying to break the law going a little strange.
“Right,” Elliott rolled his eyes.  “Anyway, the plan is this…”
After he outlined his thoughts, I wasn’t quite sure whether I was hearing clearly, or not.  Breaking Lachlan out of the Astor didn’t sound like the genius plan that he made it out to sound.  It was definitely preferable to the only other outcome, though. 
You never wanted to lose family…

Posted in 2015, Blogging, blogging the important stuff, Christian Album of the Year, Hawk Nelson, Music, my thoughts, my writing

Diamonds in the Rough – 2015 Album of the Year Nominee – Part 2

Here’s part two of my thoughts on Hawk Nelson’s Diamonds.

Thank God for Something 

“1, 2, 3, 4 count my blessings…
If you’ve got a lot or a lot of nothing 
Go ahead and thank God for something…”

A light, catchy track that starts the second half of the album in a way that reminds you to be forever grateful.  Grateful to God, no matter the season. That’s what the song is about.  After all it’s so true that we sometimes forget to thank God during our seasons of plenty; sometimes we only rely on God when we’re desperate. 

Count On You

Another punchy track with pop sensibilities espousing the fact that God is someone we can trust wholeheartedly.  Our faith is well founded when it comes to trusting in God.

Not as strong as the other tracks on the album, still one that will get you singing along to whilst thinking about the poweful lyrics.


Made to Live 

This song is anthemic.  This song is a declaration of God’s purposes for Creating us.  I can’t do anything but share the lyrics to the whole song, because they truly speak for themselves.

With every star You’ve hung up in the sky
You were leaving Your fingerprints
And when You brought my heart to life
You were leaving Your fingerprints
I know I’m here for a reason
And there’s a purpose in every season
Cause You got me, got me believing
Oh You got me, got me believing

I was made to live
I was made to live
I was made to live
For You
I was born for this
Not to just exist
I was made to live
For You

So if I could learn to love the way You do
I’ll be leaving Your fingerprints
And when I stand for what is true
I’ll be leaving Your fingerprints
And my heart it might take a beating
Sometimes this blood is for bleeding
And I know I’m here for a reason
Oh You got me, got me believing

I was made to live
I was made to live
I was made to live
For You
I was born for this
Not to just exist
I was made to live
For You

So I’ll give it all I have
Till nothing’s left
I’m not holding back
A single breath

Cause I was made to live
I was made to live
I was made to live
For You
I was born for this
Not to just exist
I was made to live
For You

Straight Line 

This song has been hard for me to pin down my thoughts on; but, I think it’s about walking the path that God has laid out for me and, at least, attempting not to stray from it. It’s about living the life that God has purposed for me; it’s about accepting Jesus and shining His light to the world.  Or that’s what I’m getting from the lyrics.

Only You 

In the materialistic world that we live in it is wonderful to be reminded that all of the things in our lives matter not.  It is only God who can fulfill us for real.  It is only God who can fix everything in this world.

‘Cause only You can fill my heart
The way You do
Only You can take what’s worn
And make it new
So I’ll take all these broken dreams
And petty things
Replace them with something that’s true
I’ll take them replace them with You


Closing thoughts

So please,
Jesus would You come close
Jesus would You come close
Jesus would You come close

And stay right here
I need You more than I know
I need You more than I know
So Jesus would You come close

I love that the album ends with a prayer to Jesus.  A prayer for Him to come close and an admission of how much He is needed.  Because that rings so true.  I need God’s love every day of my life.