Me and my writing
Would like to say thank you
For inviting
Our itching fingers, the proof

The language of my speaking
I was never really listening
When my teacher was teaching
How, I should’ve paid attention to grammar

I’ve never been a fan of poems that rhyme
This past month of topics given
I know, my imagination and I; we’ve had a good time
What are we going to do, when it’s finished?

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We will keep on!
Because that’s what writers do.
I fell in love with words
And now, I won’t let go…

This is far from an inspirational piece
But I have poetic license
To do as I please
Read it, yes or no

The reason for what I share
With my heart on this sleeve
When these words go out there
To give inspiration, even to just one; now that I believe.

The last three days have whizzed by in a flurry of activity accompanied with a dreadful cough and so I haven’t had the time to write daily on these various topics. So I am posting them all as ONE.
Wouldn’t want to block up or spam (haha) people’s news feeds.

Day 26 – Friends

Because I have served in many churches in different towns (and countries) I have been blessed (and that word, really does seem so fitting and not cheesy) for all the rad and interesting people I have met in my mere 34 years of living.

I wouldn’t dare list names of my friends. (There may be some cyber stalkers out there!) Ha. But also, wouldn’t want to leave anyone out.

I have all sorts of friends. From Christian circles, from outside of the church (so refreshing, that lot!), drinking friends, football friends, shallow (surface level) friends and in depth friends. (The ones you have DMC’s with.)

I have had friends for just a season. And I have some long-lasting friends that have matured such as a good bottle of Merlot.
If you are familiar with Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages. Then my top one is probably: QUALITY TIME.

And that is very important and essential for me. To have a good and meaningful time with my friends.

Currently, I am sad to say, a lot of my good friends, don’t stay near to me. A lot of them are in another town, another province and even other countries.

I sometimes wish I could create a teleport machine or bend the planet so that all my friends are a lot nearer.

Day 27 – Bucket List

I don’t think I have really written down one, but I have a few “must do’s” floating around in my head.
Such as
– See at least 5 more countries
– See the northern lights before I turn 40. (I failed the last attempt. Was cloudy and rain for the 3 nights that I was in Iceland
– To go to Spain. Sip on wine while listening to Counting Crow’s “Holiday in Spain.”
– To go to Paris with the girl I love. (I think I have found her now. The QoS)
– To visit Machu Pichu (in Peru)
– I want to go snowboarding again.

I am probably missing a few. Can’t think of them offhand.

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Day 28 – Politics and Drama

I suck when it comes to politics. I am ignorant to all the crap (and perhaps) some good things that go on in our parliament.
I do know in South Africa, our government mingles with a lot of corruption. Which is rather sad and makes many angry.
I simply wish, we had leaders who were passionate about making this country better.

Alleviating poverty and crime. Those who care for the environment.

If I had a magical power (of some sorts) to get into parliament and “call the shots”
I would give EVERY government official a smaller but fair salary. I would insist of them driving a simple car and living in a mediocre house.

Because if you are in the government you are there to SERVE and not to exploit.
But imagine, all the drama that would cause…

Day 29 – X- Ray

It came screaming from within. I had to get it checked. How could I go on? It stifled me. Then worry visited quickly. I needed to clear my head. Sipped the coffee and contemplated. Have I done enough with the years I’ve been given? Could I’ve laughed more? Given to others. Listened to their stories. Have I read good books? Lived adventures. He called and gave me that appointed time. “Thanks Doc!” D- Day. Nerves hanging. Anesthetic numbs. Eyes heavy. Darkness. X-RAY. Awake. Diagnosed. I dialed. “Hello?” “Please may I have a ticket; I want to see the Northern Lights.” (Word Count: 100)

(I once entered this short story writing compo that could only have 100 words. That’s what I did with today’s post.)

I have only recently got into this band. (Although they have been around for ages.)  They’re pretty cool:

Leaves are on the ground
Fall has come
Blue skies turning grey
Like my love

I tried to carry you
And make you whole
But it was never enough
I must go

[Chorus:]
Who is gonna save you
When I’m gone?
And who’ll watch over you
When I’m gone?

You say you care for me
But hide it well
How can you love someone
And not yourself?

[Chorus]

And when I’m gone
Who will break your fall?
Who will you blame?

I can’t go on
And let you lose it all
It’s more than I can take
Who’ll ease your pain?
Ease your pain

[Chorus:]
Who is gonna save you when I’m gone?
Who’ll watch over you?
Who will give you strength when you’re not strong.
Who’ll watch over you when I’ve gone away?

Snow is on the ground
Winters come
You long to hear my voice
But I’m long gone

So what do I do for a living currently? I am a youth pastor.
It’s always difficult to sum up such a diverse ministry. All churches approach youth work differently. There are very different personalities of youth pastors whose passions focus in various directions.

There is a God. Of this I am certain.
And I am comfortable in living with that conviction.

So as a youth pastor, I feel like it is my role to “awaken the awareness” of God in people’s lives. From my youth, their parents and the rest of my church.
I love drawing people together (community) and I also enjoy expressing faith in God in creative ways.

So here is my desk:

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It could be seen as messy. Perhaps? But I’d like to see it as creative busyness. So here is a little bit about what you see on my desk (in no particular order) and what it captures or means:

Sweets in the jar – that was for our world cup 2014 lucky draw. If the team that you “drew out of the hat” scored goals, won or drew a game, you’d get points. Germany won in points followed by Holland. Ironically, a German exchange student who was in Hillcrest for a while (and part of our youth) had drawn Germany. She went back home in the beginning of July. Looks like I will be posting her some sweets…

Dashboard Jesus – a recent present given to me. Still debating on whether I should place him on my dash? My hesitation is that it may seem like a dashboard Jesus that you would find in a teen cult movie like The Hangover 3? (Haha!)

Plenty of notes – I really do try. I really try stick to a diary. But then I end up placing notes all over to remind myself of things I need to do.

Bible – Reminds me of who I work for. And a lot of work does (and should more often) come from there.

Photo frame – a picture memory of the night at the Dave Matthews Band gig. With all my favourite people. 

Laptop – well that’s the hub of all that I do. My writing. (I see that as an outreach.) My lesson plans. My sermon preps. My email correspondence. All part of a greater mission and purpose.

There are a few other random items on and around my desk. Feel free to ask about…

I love music.  I really do.  I’d like to say of myself that I think in lyrics.  I have a library of lyrics in my mind.

Emery, Underoath, The Almost, Relient K, Switchfoot, Twin Forks, Dave Matthews Band, Thousand Foot Krutch.

I often tell people, the two big languages that God speaks to me in; are “being in creation,” gosh, the world is so full of evidence of the Creator.

The other language is that of lyrics.  I can be driving in my car, and a lyric jumps out at me grabbing me by the throat and heart.

Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Lorde, Dear Reader, Gravity Wins Again, MxPx, Pearl Jam, REM.

I often have my iTunes playing or a CD at home jamming.  And often variate the bands on my usb stick in my car.

(By the way, that’s a great invention!)

The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Angels and Airwaves, Blink 182, Alter Bridge, Prime Circle.

I have this controversial theory about music and it’s influences.

I am not a fan of the “pop culture” following of music.  People only liking a song because everyone else does.  Or because it has radio play.  How fickle!

The worst answer to give me; when I ask you what music you like is to say: “I listen to everything. I don’t have a favourite.”

Rubbish!  That means you don’t have a leg to stand on… in the music world.  Harsh, I know.  But have some conviction about music.  Know why you like the song you like?  And don’t just know the SINGLE… that’s a poor sighted view of music.

Speaking of rubbish…

Garbage, Matt Redman, Dead Poetic, Anberlin, The Classic Crime, Eminem, Matthew Mole.

About my theory. I battle with hip-hop.  I mean I dig Eminem.  He sings about real issues…

But here is my controversial theory:

when I was growing up, a lot of people would refer to ROCK music as the devil’s music.  That’s crap!

In fact, I’d tell you the devil is having a field day with pop music and hip-hop.

So in my country, a lot of folk who have AIDS (except those who’ve been raped or born with it) get it from their own stupid actions.

And you know what is their influence.  Their bullshit pop music that they listen to:

Think about the lyrics: “I want to undress you” “dancing right up against you on the dance-floor” “where you going girl lookin’ like that, come over here” ah man… the list is endless… full of sexual innuendo, sleeping with one another, and: a girl is just a “piece of meat” that industry is pumped with that nonsense.

And then these people are like “why do, I have AIDS?” stop sleeping around!  Stop listening to the crap that you do!

Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Ard Matthews, John Ellis, Johnny Clegg, Vusi Mahlasela, Coldplay, Rise Against, Chevelle.

There are good movies that you should watch about music.

Music & Lyrics, Almost Famous and my favourite is August Rush.

There have been bands that have inspired me along the way, convicted me as I have grown up.

Blindside, As Cities Burn, Counting Crows, The Cure, Violent Femmes.

I once interviewed the lead singer of the band, Blindside from Sweden.  I was working as a DJ on Link FM down in the Eastern Cape. (South Africa.)  Ah, I really loved that job.

Enter Shikari,  Foo Fighters, POD, Pillar, Skillet, Jars of Clay, Aaron Gillispie, Thrice , Dustin Kensrue.

Here are just some lyrics that have jumped out at me:

“But I know as I hammered those nails into your beautiful hands
Your eyes still try to search for mine, but I look away
Now your eyes are the only thing that can save me” Blindside

“I am a nomad – a wanderer; I have nowhere to lay my head down.
There’s no point in putting roots too deep when I’m moving on.
I’m not settling for this unsettling town.
My heart is filled with songs of forever -
Of a city that endures, where all is made new.” Thrice

“Then I fly back to my nest, I fly back with my nuclear but everything is different
So I wait, my yearn for home is broadened, patriotism expanded by callings from beyond
So I pack my things nothing precious all things sacred” Alanis Morissette

Paramore, Funeral for a Friend, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mat Kearney, Nirvana, Oasis, Live, 12 Stones, Lifehouse.

And to make this post even more fun, some of the band names, if you click on them… will lead you to a cool music video…

there are still many bands that can go on my list… but I don’t want to go on and on and on and on…

Dear (young) Darrel,

I am writing from the future. (Yes, such a concept is not possible) – However I ask that you will use your imagination.
Come to think of it. That will be one of your many gifts.
You are a creative individual. Never stop using that creative flare!

So I think if anyone got a glimpse of who they would be in the future; it wouldn’t be useful to their present.
Because in knowing how we turn out stifles us from living each day to the max.
Loving the small and big things of life.
Appreciating each day.

I will tell you this, however:
You turn out okay, in fact: far more than just: okay!

Some advice, perhaps:

In school, you will be quiet. (Not sure why?) But try not be.
Speak out more. Try school plays. Try play rugby from an earlier age. Actually try a whole lot of things.
But trust me, when you’re my age… you’re going to have a big passion and love for football (soccer).
It’s a pity schools won’t offer that when you get there.
(Our country that we find ourselves in will still need to evolve into offering more subjects and sports variety in schools.)

I really don’t want to tell you too much.
Just enjoy the ride.
Your parents will love you well. And do their best for you.
You will have a brother.
He is really so cool. He will be your best friend throughout your life.
He’s a talented ginger, that one.
You will be proud of him.

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Anyway here, I go being a chatterbox about your future. Funny thing is, in school, you will be quiet.
Perhaps, it’s because you won’t feel comfortable with the “mold” that try and put you in.

You see society, starting at school likes to put you in one of a very few categories of people.
You won’t fit any of those categories. So hang in there.
You will beam. You will shine.
You make take some time, but you’re so worth it.

I don’t want to tell you too much (haha, I keep saying that)
But by the time, you reach my age. 34 years young; you will have:

Lived in 3 countries
9 cities / towns
Travelled to 10 countries. (I won’t tell you which ones)
You will have met a whole bunch of kiff people.
You will discover something call Facebook and just smile at all the “Facebook friends” you have.
Most of them you know and carry a little (or perhaps a big) memory with them. Embrace that!
You will meet a beautiful girl (from some little town meaning “second”), you and her will fall in love and experience what that means.

You’re gonna go far kid,
You’re gonna follow an unconventional way.
I’m so proud of you.

Love you the world,

34 year young, Darrel

PS. Drink beer. It’s cool.
PSS. God is going to blow your mind (in a good way) and fill your heart massively.

This band doesn’t exist anymore. R.I.P.
Wish they did. The three albums they offered the world were brilliant.
Packed with genuine and convicting lyrics.

This song popped into my head earlier:

Off the album: Vices.

She told me don’t let them in
You’re a copy of a copy
She told me don’t come again
This is awful, this is all wrong

Now I feel it coming back again
Slide down the walls on the floor
Oh, I’ll pretend
This isn’t happening this time

She told me, stop listening
To the voices and what they said
She told me don’t fall again
I am wretched, I am loathed

She told me, don’t kill the villains
The pain is not escaping
She told me, don’t kill the villains
Just let them feast on their own perfection

She told me, don’t kill the villains
The pain is not escaping
She told me you cannot stay
But I’m stable, I’m okay

I said it, we all regret it
Now this room is cold and spinning
Give us cause to keep them
Breathing again this time

She told me don’t let them in
You’re a copy of a copy