Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas.

Friends and family,
I hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas and an amazing new year.
your friend,
stephen

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A&B vinyl!!!


Anchor & Braille is releasing a very limited pressing 7" vinyl including the songs 'Sound Asleep' & 'Wedding/Funeral', out on January 23, 2007. you can pre-order the vinyl right now on interpunk.com simply CLICK HERE.
thanks for listening,
-stephen

Wednesday, December 13, 2006




'be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue. do not now seek the answers... live the questions."
-rilke
'i have found the enemy,
and he is us'
-anonymous

james chavez must die.

james chavez is a man i would like to kill, i know that sounds harsh, but its true. in the back of my moleskin journal i keep cut outs of different pictures, tickets, random pieces of anythings to remind me of somethings, and newspaper articles. as i pulled everything out of my journal there was a piece of worn newspaper; my heart sank knowing what was on the other side. when i was in reno i was reading through a paper and stumbled on section 3A of the reno gazette. the date was november 9, 2006 and the headline read "father convicted of sexually assaulting daughter." of course my blood began to boil and my fist's began to clinch even before i began to read.

i am not one for the death penalty, i am always so torn by the topic, but if there is one ominious crime that i 'feel' deserves the death penalty it is for anyone who hurts an innocent child, especially sexually. james chavez did more than just sexually abuse his child, he tore her childhood, innocence, and eventually her life away from her.

as the story unfolds you realize that the father had been assaulting all his daughters, from the age 5 and on, and though this is horrific, it is not the worst part. james chavez's 12 year old daughter killed herself by hanging herself with a rope. who thinks of that? what 12 year old girl has thoughts of suicide? and then carries it out!?!

at 12 years old girls should be talking about boys, be a little to old to play with dolls but to young to be hanging out past 10pm. they should have sleepovers, and pillowfights, talk on the phone for way to long. that is a 12 year old girls life. but not for this little one; hours before she hung herself she told a friend that she was "ugly and would never truly be loved by a man."

where has our innocence gone? why do people like james chavez exsist? i have so many burdensome questions, and every time i read something like this my heart seems to stop for a mere second. my heart hurts for any of you who read this and have been abused in some way or another. there are alot of abused kids out there who are now young adults, and you have to realize you are not alone.

though everything inside me hurts and burns i don't want to end james chavez's life. i want him to get help but never be able to hurt another innocent soul again. i want to see the cycle of abuse ended. i want people who hurt to have their broken hearts mended. there is hope out there, and if you have been abused, you can truly be loved. and you are truly loved.

im sorry this is such a heavy topic, but it was on my mind.
-esteban

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

response to "how can i help?" emails



my friends.
i am coming to you in response to several of you emailing me and asking how you can support my trip to india, well i am not one for charity concerning myself but did indeed find a way for you to help. even though my trip is paid for we could always use help with building supplies and there are some others that really want to go on the trip that need to make ends meet just to go. i still have about 30 of the lithographs still available that i designed for our haiti trip. email me at modestyguild@gmail.com and i will give you more details how you can order the lithograph and help support our trip to calcutta, india. if you did not get a chance to read about the trip you can click here for more information.
thanks so much,
esteban

Sunday, November 26, 2006

more tomorrows than yesterdays. for now.

this past week i had the chance to hang out with my family, we had a wonderful thanksgiving weekend and had the opportunity to spend a lot of time just reading and listening to the new album leaf record (a perfect compromise for parents opposed to anything to loud.) we went to an imax presentation of into the deep, a 45 minute documentary on creatures in the ocean, some that i had never seen or heard of before. it was beautifully filmed and danny elfman solidified himself as my favorite soundtrack writer.
afterwards we stumbled into a museum which turned out to be a children's museum, and after a couple of minutes the lot of us were completely jejune & done looking. on the second level hidden away was a doddering machine that had an anti smoking warning from a local police department.
as i sat down i realized that the machine projected what you were going to look like throughout the rest of your life, i was instantly intrigued. after i took the picture i waited the minute required in processing. then it appeared.
me at 82.
i sat still staring. staring myself years and years from now. i looked sad. my eyes were worn, my face sagged, the bags under my eyes were dark and my hair had turned grey. i can't tell you what happened but it clicked. i realized that we are all going to get old. we all know the fact, but we never have to stare the reality in the face. that was me and i was him.
what would he have wished i would do different now? why did he look so sad? what thoughts were going through his head?
who is his family? who did he choose as his wife? what were his regrets? if he could switch just one day with me what would he do, would he go and call all his family members and tell them how much he loved them? would he warn someone of danger or avoid a person all together?
i took a picture of myself with my camera and have to admit that i have stared at the picture for a couple days now, its rather inspiring or sobering in an odd sort of way. because i think to myself that i cannot waste time. i want to know that these hours of rest are spent wisely. that whatever i put my hands to i must do with all my heart.
we are all going to be there someday. we don't see it now, and for others we don't want to admit it. but were all going to be at a point where we have more yesterdays than tomorrows.
take today, and for the rest of the day pretend you are 82 and magically you have one more day in your body, in your mind.
what are you going to do with this gift of life in the spring of it? because when winter arrives, and it will, hopefully you have spent your days wisely and have very few regrets.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

a brief social commentary #3 (mating rituals of homo sapiens)

i find it so intriguing the way us humans participate in the mating ritual. time and time again i would be watching national geographic channel or discovery and i would gasp to myself as to the correlation between the animal and the human "pull". i once saw a male bird build a nest for days and days, and after calling all the female birds in the area several female birds came and sat in the nest. if she felt comfortable, stable, and taken care of she would stay and if not she would leave.
have you ever driven in an area of town where the houses are run down and trash lines the streets and noticed that the cars that the home owners drive are mercedes, bmw's, and other such high priced cars? i always wondered if that was some sort of adaptation where they attract the female, much like the bird, by putting their best foot forward and giving the female the illusion of stability & comfort.

next time you are participating in a social event watch the "single" people around you, the first stance you will notice is the individual guy and girl groups. the male species will most likely be levying for alpha male status, this is observed through simple things like eye contact or lack there of, slaps on the back, even the way they sit or stand plays a part. reaserchers stated "that success (in the male group) came from expansive “dominant male” gestures towards fellow men. Leaving women in no doubt that they were the focus of attention (with the other males) was also key; then there is the glance twords the female or females of his desire."

after men have volleyed for position amongst their own gender it is on to the glance, they begin to watch or look in the direction of the female or females of their desire. the same researchers noticed that for a successful conversation to occur there was at least "13 glances in half an hour for the average “pull”.*

after the conversation is initiated then it is time for whit, charm, and humor to click in. in all reality we are summing up the other person to see if they would be a good potential mate. would she be a good mother to my children, would she care for the nest, would she even be fertile, is she healty? all these questions never once enter the conversation subconsciously they are imperative. (of course she is thinking the same thing; can he produce, can he protect, is he healthy, etc.)

men want women to know that they are conquerors and can supply stability to the nest; this usually comes out by talking up the males current employment, stories of financial victory, & the cost of what we drive away in. we want them to know that we are healthy; this is a visual observation and is the reasoning why the male will spend hours in a gym, absorbing a fake tan, and picking out clothing that shows off the weight they have or have not obtained. the male wants the female to know that he is brave and can protect the nest/territory: you can hear it when you observe the male tell stories of athletic victory's, other various aggressive sports he may have participated in, adventure & outdoor activities, or other such demanding tasks.

its rather funny if you break it down to the scientific aspect of a lot of things we do. but to us they are just ordinary, no one is 'wierd' if they check out someone of the opposite sex or talk about camping in the wilderness, but what are they really trying to say or the character quality they are trying to portray.

*(john elliott, uk sunday times article)

post script: ladies please don't think about this social commentary on your next date, or you will be laughing to yourself the whole time after you realize he is telling you all these stories and trying to be witty just so you will come back to the nest that he has built and then attempt to make sure you feel comfortable, stable, and taken care of so you won't leave. (unless of course... he lives with his parents).

Friday, November 10, 2006

my album of the year...

the time travel/ an exploration of a distant mind.

i have had the amazing experience of getting into someone's mind. reading private thoughts and exploring a whole new world and time. my whole life i have always wanted to read someone's journal. secretly wishing someone would leave there's behind on a table or desk so that i could see there thoughts, psychoanalyze them as best i could; find out who they are, who they think they are, experience where they are going.
maybe the bottom line is that i just wanted to feel normal. think that maybe my worst fears are there's as well. and we are all connected on some level. it never happened. no one ever left their journal. and even if i did find one i don't know if i would have had enough guts to read it, because i know how violated i would feel knowing someone read one of mine.
it is apart of me. i would feel violated, hurt, as if my words held no more weight. which always brought me to the question, what should i do with all the journals in my life. should i burn them? should i put them into a capsule that should not be opened for at least 100 years after my death (that way no one can see how human i really am).
while in houston the other day i stumbled into a used book store. it was much like any other used book store in that it had the decomposing paper smell, and an elderly man behind the counter. i found it odd that no music was playing in the background. maybe he liked it that way, music seems to be everywhere. but the man had a content look on his face staring into the near distance.
i wondered through the store, i had a bit of time to kill so i wondered through each and every section mentally taking notes as to what books in this building i would like in my library someday. i especially like books on travel to places i have never been, i love black and white photography books, because i end up cutting them up and taping them into my journal. history, science, math, psychology, they were all there. after about an hour of browsing i came upon a lone glass case. inside was one book, with no title, no author, no date. it was an ash grey and looked like the edges had been dragged on the concrete.
there was no key in the lock and my curiosity got the best of me. i asked the elderly man what was in the case, his curiosity was also peaked because he had no idea what the book was since his wife owned the store.
as he pulled out the book i noticed the plastic engagement was perfectly taped as if the book store owner knew this was some sort of treasure.
the man set it on the front counter and let me open it. as i began to open it up slowly i open realized the paper was flaking in certain areas and felt very fine and old. as i opened it to the first page the first thing i noticed was the beautiful calligraphy used. the ink would start very dark and as the words continued it would fade and then dark once again.
the opening line was a mistake, because he tried to cross it out.
"spring is my favorite season, as if the whole world is again coming alive."
what was this?
then the second page said
the diary of jonathan jones
december 23 1848.
i had found a treasure, and after an exchange of minimal currency (as compared to what i thought it would be worth) i was walking out of the used book store with thoughts, dates, and a distant time i myself could never physically experience, but was about to time travel to.
i have read almost half and can not tell you how my heart has raced more than once. he is an amazing man from north dublin (either in georgia or california) i am not certain yet. he writes every day of the week, moment, hour, & month in every entry. he is so very concerned with time. i am not going to say he loves death but he is so very intrigued. he believes in God ("thanks to the divine being for his infinite mercy and goodness") and his country. and his wife often gets sick. he claims he is poor but i don't believe he is, i think he runs a mill and hints to the fact he has hired several servants. there is so much more, i wish you could read it alongside of me.
i have stumbled into the past, and figured so much about the present state of humanity. though we may not have existed then our humanity sees no time, survival knows no distance, love & friendship surpasses what we have or will ever experience. of course we feel we know this, but i have never read the manuscript of thoughts. we can read history books but never have i read the thoughts behind the history.
i admire the strength of jonathan jones, he is an upright man who is concerned with more than just himself in life.
i wonder what others will read in my journal someday. will i be strong, or caring? or will i just testify that humanity does not see or feel time or space. i hope so.
what will others read about you one day?
-esteban

Saturday, November 04, 2006

nude descending a staircase


this is a painting from a man by the name of marcel duchamp called nude descending a staircase. i dont know why i love this painting so much. maybe it is because when i was taking art history it was one of the first DADA movement pieces i had ever seen. we had just got over the jejune and boring era of realism and anything other than monet, renoir, or degas would have been welcomed. when this piece appeared on the screen i froze in my chair. it was nothing i could think up (as opposed to a girl tying a ballet slipper). it was genious, and the colors alone were enough to allure me for another glance. part cubism, part symbolic, all rebelious. that is why this is one of my favoite art pieces of all time.
duchamp only painted about 20 pieces in his whole life. he moved to new your city in 1910 (i believe) and after finishing the small number of works in his life devoted himself completely to chess. random. but true.
-esteban

(a little history)
'Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 - 2 October 1968) was a French painter and theorist, a major proponent of DADA, and one of the most influential figures of avant-garde 20th-century art. After a brief early period in which he was influenced chiefly by Paul CEZANNE and Fauve color, Duchamp developed a type of symbolic painting, a dynamic version of facet CUBISM (similar to FUTURISM), in which the image depicted successive movements of a single body. It closely resembled the multiple exposure photography documented in Eadweard MUYBRIDGE's book The Horse in Motion (1878).

In 1912, Duchamp painted his famous Nude Descending A Staircase, which caused a scandal at the 1913 ARMORY SHOW in New York City. In the same year he developed, with Francis PICABIA and Guillaume APOLLINAIRE, the radical and ironic ideas that independently prefigured the official founding of Dada in 1916 in Zurich. In Paris in 1914, Duchamp bought and inscribed a bottle rack, thereby producing his first ready-made, a new art form based on the principle that art does not depend on established rules or on craftsmanship. Duchamp's ready-mades are ordinary objects that are signed and titled, becoming aesthetic, rather than functional, objects simply by this change in context. Dada aimed at departure from the physical aspect of painting and emphases in ideas as the chief means of artistic expression.'

Friday, November 03, 2006

a brief social commentary #2 (observance of the second beginning)

if you watch a child and his or her behavior they usually have a routine, even though its spastic and not always in control the basics and primary needs are pretty much the same. for the youngest they need to be fed and constantly watched to keep them from harming themselves. when a child is in the room many people are watching him/her to make sure that they don't fall down or lash out at others.
if you watch an elderly person at the later state of his/her winter they usually have a routine, even though it is spastic and not always in control the basics and primary needs are pretty much the same. for the elderly they need to be fed and constantly watched to keep from harming themselves.
it seems we once again begin the cycle that we started with right before we die. i wonder if it was designed like that, the womb not yet life, death not ever alive again. i am not sure, but as i have said before it is not death that scares me it is getting so old that i no longer can care for myself.
we as a society treat the elderly like children, almost in a degrading way. we do not value the old but honor the young, even though we the young are the most unintelligent and gullible of any stage of life, especially when compared to those with grey and wisdom. we speak up into the phones as if all elderly are going deaf, and expectantly use small words. we pretend to care but continue to finish our email while we are talking to them. we refuse to explain technology because they are more outdated and we do not believe they can grasp it. why do we sell them so short. they survived. they lived full lives. but we reduce them to mere children. childern whom we watch in rooms to make sure they do not fall down or lash out at others.
-esteban

Thursday, November 02, 2006

anchor&braille update


anchor&braille has a new merch store.
if you want to create a design for A&B i would love to see anything you come up with!
-stephen christian
modestyguild@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a brief social commentary #1 (the looming)

while walking through a city the other night my mind stumbled to the
buildings looming high above me, so very out of reach. i marveled at
the architecture and thought how amazed someone from centuries ago
would have been at our modern achievments and may have thought they
stumbled onto heaven if only by the shear mass of the structures. i
then realized that the tallest building two hundred years ago would
have been a church, and upon further observations i noticed that the
tallest buildings in america now would be financial institutions.
in orlando, where this dawned on me, it was bank of america, wachovia
bank, and sun trust bank that were the largest buildings downtown. i
wonder if that is where our hearts have left of, or where our hearts
have turned us. no longer do we pursue things outside our grasp or the
intangible; but have reshaped our nation to the tangible.

Friday, October 27, 2006

man's true fear.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
-Plato

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

calcutta, india.

As many of you know I had the opportunity to go to Haiti this past spring. The events that took place are etched into my mind and will transcend ideas, thoughts, and actions for the rest of my life. We had the unique opportunity to live and work alongside the villagers of Mano, Haiti. The nights were long and suffocatingly hot,the food was of a different culture, and the daylong hikes to destinations were extensive. But the amount of lives that we were able to touch far far surpasses any physical discomfort I was succumbing to.
because of haiti, i saw that i could help make a difference in this world. it gave me hope that even though the worlds problems pose a daughnting task to overcome, and i may not be able to help each and every person, i can make a notable difference if i put my heart into it. i recently read a report that stated that between 10-40 million people are in slavery in india alone (estimates are so broad because no one knows for sure) (http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65989.htm). a lot of times these people are forced into sexual slavery to pay the bills of their fathers, for debts as low as 10$, the majority being women.

'We Americans are, to be sure, an imperfect people, but we are fortunate to be guided by ideals that summon us to become even nobler and indeed to pursue our perfect union. Those same ideals lead America into the world to combat the dehumanization of women in all its forums, especially the international evil of human trafficking, a modern form of slavery for millions of women.'
-secretary of state rice
THERE ARE MORE SLAVES IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW THAN THERE WERE DURING THE CIVIL WAR. we must put an end to it, we have to be the generation that stands up and make a difference.
india is an amazing culture, and by the end of our lifetime's it will be a world superpower. but haunting india is the disturbing amount of child sex trafficking and prostitution that litters many of its streets. even now, children as young as 6 & 7 years old are being sold into prostitution on the streets of Calcutta. It is time we do something about it.
i decided that i don't want to be the only band member anymore when going to these distant countries, i want it to impact the entire music industry to help in one way or another. this trip to india will involve several bands, and several organizations willing to make a difference.
this janaury myself and several other bands are going to india to work with an organization called Ten and their daughter organization Made By Survivors, which are both non-profit organization that helps take children and slaves out of their current situation and teaches them a skill or trade that will help them throughout the rest of their lives.
that is what we are doing, but we can't do this alone, we need you to help.
what you can do to help:
1. educate yourself: there are several books about the topic, but some really good online resources are;
http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/ which is the State Department General Trafficking site

http://www.state.gov/g/tip/ 2005 Human Rights Report (gives you a general overview of the human rights issues in every country around the world)

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/index.htm State DepartmentÂ’s Democracy and Human Rights site (includes info on full range of HR issues including religious freedom)

2. write letters of support to your local government, they need to know that this is an important issue to you.alsoo secretary of the state condoleezza rice is a big supporter of the ending of human trafficing, so write her a letter of thanks!

3. write some emails to signed bands who you might think would want to go, encourage them to contact my manager for more details (kyle@arsonmediagroup.com)

4. send us your thoughts, and prayers so that this trip is safe, organized, and productive.

5. if you want to send a financial donation so band's that can't otherwise afford it contact sarah freeman, the project coordinator (sarahmichellefreeman@gmail.com)

Please consider working with us to help the peoples of the world, the widows and orphans, the helpless and hurting. You can make a difference in this world, and here is the opportunity.
Thank you so much,
-esteban

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

(A&B) update


hey guys, just wanted to let you know i put up an piano version of the song "sleeping" up on the anchor&braille myspace account. i wanted to tell you guys first, thanks for being so supportive.
i am going to come out with a 7" vinyl this fall, i am really really excited about the artwork, ill make sure to keep you updated.
-esteban
myspace.com/anchorandbraille
anchorandbraille.com
modesty.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 16, 2006

zen & the beginners mind & Christ's faith like a child

i know that i have touched on this subject but it is so important to me that i feel i must explore it yet again. and in more depth and clarity.
i feel that people almost feel that it is a sin to question. we cannot question the government because they have left us in such fear and ignorance that we feel they know better than us. we cannot question those that are above us in stature or status because are more likely to have experienced more and therefore our questions are irrelovent. we cannot question our beliefs or religion because faith requires us to shut up and take it.
all these are inncorect on some level. we can question authority, after all we put them there didn't we? they are the voice of the people. we are those people. we can question our elders and their decisions, we have ideas as well, new ideas, creative ideas, we can expound on they know. yes we can learn from them but we have a lot to teach as well. david (king of the jewish nation) questioned God more than anyone in the bible, even to the point of screaming at Him in anger. yet david was known as a man after Gods own heart.
"and this is the simple truth: that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling; and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked. all the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.'
-soren kierkegaard
continue to question. everything. everyone. if you don't know the answer don't sit in fear of the answer! explore! embrace being lost, for that is the first step to looking for answers, and upon finding answers (and subsequently more questions) has begun to find himself.
i think this why Jesus Christ was so emphatic about having child like faith. because children have child like questions, child like curiostiy, child like faith & belief. Zen call it the beginners mind, maintaining a state of wonder and awe at the world around them.
"the stone that the builder rejects becoes the foundation for a new temple. the willingness to doubt and question is itself ournew sacred ground, the spiritual journey IS NOT about getting somwhere else. its not about progress or destinations. (its about becoming child like in our faith or beginners mind). in our lostness, we have found the seed of a new identity. our being is becoming, our goal is to begin again."
-john bradshaw
i want to reiterate what the previous quote was stating, i don't believe that one can reach enlightenment honestly, nor can one reach the perfection of Christ (as paul says to pursue) but thats just it IT IS NOT about getting somewhere, or the destination, but it IS ABOUT pursuing the answers with all your heart, soul, and body.
-esteban

*for you miss luck.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

banksy.co.uk


i love art, i love art with a message even more. political art that prompts conversation and art that make you probe through your own beliefs (like the dada movement) has always inspired me. this artist uses elaborate stencils and personal beliefs to create his own medium. please check out banksy when you get a chance. a phenominal artist and activist.
banksy.co.uk/

inspiration in the flesh.

first i want to apologize for the lapse of time between posts for the last month. currently i am in the studio here in seattle washington and i have not had a lot of free time to myself. so please forgive me.

i must say that there are very few people that have inspired me to sing, and the style in which i sing.
not in any paticular order the most influential are
1. jeff buckley
2. morrissey
3. john bunch
4. jeremy enigk
5. mic jagger
6. john lennon/

last night i had the opportunity to meet jeremy enigk. siezed with awe i froze. it wasn't that i was star struck but that i felt such psuedo-reverence for what he had achieved in his musical career. very few people have been able to foster an entire musical revolution like him. i don't know why i shared this. maybe because somehow i wanted to share something that made me hold my breath for a moment.
thats all.
-stephen

Sunday, August 27, 2006

the three passions that have governed my life.

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.
-Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

questioning the western worlds rite of passage to manhood

what is a man? what makes a human male what one would define as a man?
i am currently reading a book called 'fire in the belly' by sam keen and it is the best physiological book on masculinity i have ever read. western society says that you can become a man by joining a fraternity, getting a letter in sports, having sex with multiple partners, being rugged & tough, never showing your feelings, drinking a lot, having lots of money, working hard, swearing, never crying, etc. but do these actions prove that one is a man?
i read a book called wild at heart and did not enjoy or relate to it at all. it made a list of traits that 'real men' possess and a list of what the common male can do but is somehow is categorized in a type of sub-man. the real men liked camping and auto repair, while the un masculine male knew how to install a computer program and program a DVD player. i honestly don't feel by buying a motorcycle that i am more 'manly' and i sure don't feel that it is likely to give me any more testosterone.
"the information necessary to create a male is encoded in our DNA, but it takes all the institutions of a culture to produce a man. The male body is the biologically given hardware, the myth that manhood is the software inserted by society through a series of formal and informal rites of passage."
-sandor mcnab
as boys we are taught in order to reach manhood we must repress compassion, guilt, and the sense of fear. the propaganda we are constantly bludgeoned with states that if we do not become dominant, sadistic, and cruel then we have not yet reached manhood.
but in our pursuit of manhood we have lost the sense of family and replaced it with the pursuit of power, greed, and money.
before world war I the average man would spend 4 hours with his children a day. between world war I and world war II it was reduced to 2 hours a day. post world war II it is now down to a 20 minute average a day the average working man spends with his children a day. what has been gained is the warped sense of "manhood" what has been lost is the relationships with his children. in turn the fathers silently are teaching their young boys that this is the way of the man. to much time spent at home, or investing into children's lives can be seen from the outside as lazy and in turn un-manly, since the sense of work satisfaction is the identity of the modern male.
in light of this men like rena cassin, who won the nobel peace prize in 1968, would not be 'man' at all. he was known for being a fragile man and a quiet speaker, unlike the extraverted, tough exterior expected by western culture. he set up the french ferderation for disabled war veterans and accepted the office of vice president of the hig council so he could work hands on with the childern orphaned by the war.
to me this was a man.
to me character, ethics, and social responsibility should be the point to which all men should be judged by.
"a man is measured by the expanse of the moral horizon he chooses to inhabit."
-sandor mcnab
i believe it is what we stand for and what we are willing to die for that makes us a man, not by the size of engine in his mode of transportation or ammount of alcohol he can consume before we are out of control.
i believe that it is what we do in secret that determines the character of the man, and it is character that is imperative and not the depth of his voice, or the ammount of women he can seduce.
i believe it is a males self control and self sacrifice that should be the western worlds rite of passage to manhood and not his social irresponsibility in front of peers that is the true test.
i am now questioning the western worlds rite of passage to manhood, and one day hope to instill character, ethics, social responsibility, and a sense of family in all my little boys; because those are the substance of a man.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

never, ever stop questioning.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
-Albert Einstein

Sunday, June 25, 2006

the search for self will never be satisfied. but keep looking.

so much of the first half of our lives are spent exhaustively in search of self. the problem of self is that even though it can hypothetically be completely searched it can never be truly found. but the task throughout the journey is not what you discover but the journey itself.
i read recently that "You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present."
-unknown
but i disagree. i think that self is located not in the present alone but the conglomeration of the experiences we encounter through in the past.
throughout my high school career i was told that i was not going to make it to college. i admit my grades were something to be desired, and my guidance counselors encouraged me to go to a vocational school, if i go on to a school at all. at first i resented them but then i started to believe what they were saying. i began to believe that i couldn't make it in college, and that i should accept the fact that intellectually i was inferior.
its as if in life we are a metal frame structured in the likes of a skeletal system. every word that is spoken to us is the putty slowly manipulating who we are and who we are becoming. Unfortunately most of the time the words that we remember are all the negative words, it is our choice whether we are going to believe them or not. whether to make a statue out of the words spoken.
after high school i went to work at an amusement park pulling weeds and mowing lawns. i told people i was doing this because i was saving up for a car, but that was a lie. i didn't think that i could make it even at community college and wanted to find a job that i could live with. after working 6 months i realized that there was something different about me then the rest of the guys that worked there. because i had many many hours of being by myself i began to search what i wanted out of life. and even though i never figured it out completely i knew that working 40 hours a week planting flowers was not it. it wasn't that i had a higher IQ or that i was better than them by any means, but it was that i had tenacity for life and i couldn't escape my inner longing to be something better than i was. i was tired of believing the lies that i had accepted all through high school.
i enrolled in community college, and believing myself instead of others i got the best grades of my life. (eventually graduating from UCF w/ B.S. in psychology)
ok i realize that these are two different topics, the search for self & believing in yourself over what others believe of you, but in a way they seem to reflect each other more than some would like to admit. we need to focus on more of what we believe about ourselves and less on what other people feed negatively into our lives.
you have to realize that you are never really going to know yourself, ever. the average person changes careers 4 times in their lives, which means even when you think you know what you want to do with your life chances are you are going to redirect your focus sometime in your life. but the goal is never, and should never be to know yourself; but to search to find yourself.
what are some ways to explore who you are?
1. read. read everything you can get your hands on. so what if the author is a different sex, creed, religion, or cultural background. that is how you grow. by learning outside what you know.
2. talk. meet new people every day. sit somewhere different on the train. meet those who you may never see again. find someone sitting alone @ the coffee shop. study them like a manual. find out what they think the meaning of life is. or my favorite question for elderly people has always been "if you could rewind time to my age what would you have wanted to tell yourself?" so i guess, more than talk, listen.
3. write. journal/blog
4. listen, to yourself. to those thoughts that keep you up late at night, that wake you up early in the morning. that is called passion. find out what it is, search it out to its end.
5. pray. then pray.
-esteban

what else? i am sure i am missing more ways. these are just the first few off the top of my head.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

ANCHOR&BRAILLE


ANCHOR&BRAILLE is the name i am going to put my acoustic stuff out under. since the new anberlin record is coming out early '07 i am going to put out the first record (self titled) out on toothandnail in late spring '07.
i am going to finish up the last 4 songs this december with producer aaron marsh (copeland). i put up a couple songs on purevolume.com/anchorandbraille and myspace.com/anchorandbraille . please let me know what you guys think, as i could not be happier with how these demo's turned out.
-esteban

Friday, June 16, 2006

imagine, encourage, inspire...

so i have been doing modesty for three years. in all this time i have told you to keep a journal, keep reading, inspire others, etc. but not once have i asked you to start a blog of your own.
so this is your project this week. start an online journal.
one of the the greatest teachers is failure, and to spread knowledge of shortcomings could help encourage others to not fall in the same trap, or stay away from whatever it was insnarred you. and its not just failure. you have the power to inspire. it doesnt matter who you are, what you did or have not done, or how many friends you think you might have, or not have. you touch someones life, whether you see it or not.

its very easy to start a blog. first go to blogspot.com or blog.com or im sure there are seveal thousand by now.

on blogspot.com its quite self explanitory, and in three steps you can be sharing your thoughts with the world.
once you post your first blog post, please comment on this entry because i want to read whatever it is that is on your heart.
several of you have blogs and i check them out when you comment. i must say, i am encouraged by the intellectually stimulating and thought provoking blogs i have visited. and for that, thank you.
your friend,
esteban

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Haiti, went to build, returned have only tore down.

let me being this entry by saying THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to those of you who sent me on this trip. your donations and those who purchased the lithograph really enabled me to go on this trip with little worry about finances, and helped to be able to financially invest in others to go on this trip as well. you are greatly appreciated by many.

the trip was altering. i don't want to say exciting or emotionally exhilarating because i think those, much like camp highs, fade with time. this was a change of a mindset. of learning to stretch myself in ways i had not been in years. this is a change that will not fade in mere days, but an educational installment that will challenge the way i see the world for the rest of my life.

before we left i had an irksome intuition. i felt that this trip would not be what i thought it was going to be. i felt that i was going to have to decide whether to DO or to BE. not clear on what that was going to entail i set out for miami to catch my flight.

upon arrival we were informed that in fact port a prince was not the safest places in the world right now for foriegners so instead of concentrating on the local orphanage we were going to fly to jacmel. a city right over the mountain range in sight. once in jacmel we took an hour and a half walk up the side of the mountain to a small farming community called mano.

mano is unlike many US cities in that it has no running water, no electricity, no air conditioning, no modern convenience, and it has a deep sense of community. this is where it began for me. the realization that i was selfish and egocentric hit me within minutes of arriving because my idea of 'comfort' was no where in sight. actually no where within several miles.

sleeping was the difficult part as the temperatures at night were closer to 90 degrees, and the mosquito's claimed me for their own, regardless of the multiple layers of toxic bug spray. the food was different, as i was introduced to this amazing vegetable called breadfruit. it looked just like a cantaloupe but tasted when baked like a potato. when it was boiled you could dip the breadfruit out with a spoon and had the consistency of mashed potatoes.

our goal in jacmel was not to DO for the people, but BE with the people. in my mind i wanted to do, i wanted action. i wanted to build something. to create. feeling that i had to prove to these people that we cared, and if i couldn't build or create than my trip was purposeless. i was wrong.

in haiti one of the most valued principle in their culture is community. they were unconcerned with most tasks we deam as imperative. the lasting effect they desired from my trip was not building four walls in some school, but building a relationship. they were not asking me to help them construct their road, but a friendship.

the majority of people in mano had never seen a white person before. on many occasions people would come up and touch my hair to see what the texture was. once a little girl licked her finger and tried to rub off my tattoo. for them i was more than just a foreigner, i was american.

america doesn't have the greatest reputation around the world. folklore, foreign governments, and misinformation play a deep role in founding others beliefs about our nation. even if the rumors they have heard are false, that is all they know of the country and since that is all they know they believe it.

i built more than a road, i tore down walls. by just BEING, and not DOING i was able to develop relationships with everyone from a carpenter to a voodoo doctor. i had the opportunity to clear up misconceptions and stereotypes through spending hours working, playing, and eating along side these amazing human beings. it wasn't the action the people desired, it was the attention.

even though i felt alot of their values were opposite of mine their sense of community was overwhelming and convicting. why do i always feel like i have to be doing something for people. to cultivate relationships are more important and more essential. to have the ties of family are invaluable. these are the first lesson of this trip i walked away from.

i went to haiti to build, i ended up tearing down.
myself, my ethoncentrism, and walls.

...more to come. a lot more.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Haiti




i just got back about twenty minutes ago. i want to write all about it. and i will. but give me a little time to take a shower (the first in almost two weeks) and to sleep. you were in my thoughts.
-esteban

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

journal entry 5.17.06 ramblings on the veracity puzzle

if i died one would merely have to collect my writings, photographs, journals, and the conversations i have had to know everything about me. i feel in life each one of us are a complex puzzle, the older we get the more pieces there are for one to collect. we give a small portion of ourselves to each event, moment, and person that we come into contact with. i would imagine we are all the same, some pieces given more freely than others. some pieces bigger than others, according to their importance/impact on/in our lives. are we really ever really ourselves, not in the sense of being who we really are, but do we belong to ourselves? are we really an island to ourselves?
i believe we are not and island to ourselves because clearly when others give us apart of themselves (whether it be their intellect, faith, or opinion) we do not only take a piece of their proverbial puzzle, but we then try our best to attach it where might fit the best, if at all. and they take from us as well. whether good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative.
the other day as me and dorian were sitting outside wishing it were a few degrees cooler and i proceeded to surrender to him my struggles, not that he could ever relate or sympathize, but that i could hand him a section of me that was an aggravation to maintain. why does handing something verbally over to someone feel so freeing? as if now it is their burden to share as well, even though that could not be further from the truth.
i wonder if the reason i don’t tell one person alone every aspect of my life is because i’m afraid of what they might find out. as if one person alone held every key they would realize i am simply human. so silence is a defense mechanism. silence allows the ability to have opinions formulated not by who you truly are but by what others think you are.
well silence has never had its way with me before, so why begin now. i want to hear what others believe, i realize that the more i know the more i realize i have not a damn clue. i want to learn truth, i think we all do, there is something out there greater than ourselves, that can complete our own ‘puzzle’, because i see now we were never complete to begin with. though i find solace in the words and wisdom of others, i see that knowledge and understanding are only the beginning of any quest for veracity.

Food for Brides; starvation in kenya, africa

As many of you know anberlin has been involved with world vision for some time. on the last tooth and nail tour we raised money to build wells in kenya, africa. this region is drying up, and because of that many familes are trading food for young girls who are then forced into marriage's against their will.

this is a report world vision issued today:

Ruth Nthambi is a delighted recipient of maize provided at a World Vision food distribution in Kenya. Photo by Kari Costanza. Drought-fueled poverty is compelling children to drop out of school and forcing young girls into unwanted, early marriage, according to World Vision relief staff.

Field Officer Abraham Losinyen, who oversees food distribution in eastern Kenya's Makueni district, said the practice was often a family's last resort in a desperate situation.

"Many families have to marry off their young daughters to people who can give them food. It's a trend that will likely increase as long as the crisis becomes bigger and bigger," he reports.

Staff in the area estimate as many as one in 10 families will have a girl who weds early because of the drought.

Among those feeling the pressure is mother Ruth Nthambi. Her youngest children already display the orange-tinged hair of the undernourished, and lack of food and cash is keeping them out of school.

Nthambi said it was becoming more and more tempting to send her 10-year-old daughter Kathina to Nairobi to work, or find someone to marry her.

Three years ago Nthambi had sent another daughter to Nairobi during difficult times. She ended up marrying a gas station attendant when she was 14 years old, much to her mother's dismay.

"Obviously, I'm sure the same thing will happen if I don't get some money," Nthambi says. "I am not happy, but there's nothing I can do about it."

Her daughter Kathina says she wants to continue her schooling and eventually become a teacher but worries the drought may rob her of that opportunity.

"Early marriage is bad. It's bad because children should go to school," she says.

Nthambi's mood improved a few hours later when she benefited from a World Vision food distribution, where she was able to collect a maize ration for each member of her family.

"Now the children will have something to eat. Because of the food distribution the children can go to school," she expresses with joy.

About 14 million people are suffering from hunger in East Africa, chiefly due to drought. World Vision is conducting extensive relief operations throughout the region.



Get Involved
Provide emergency food aid to Africa.
Sponsor a HopeChild in a high-HIV prevalence country in Africa such as Kenya.
Support Food Aid funding.
Pray for rain in East Africa! And that World Vision would be able to successfully plan and implement programs that would insulate communities against the effects of drought.

*see the full report and links on http://www.worldvision.org/about_us.nsf/child/eNews_kenya_051606?OpenDocument&campaign=1265397&cmp=EMC-1265397

Sunday, April 30, 2006

BREAKING HEARTS AND TAKING NAMES. a failure of character revealed. (repair) (dismantle)

i am going to regret putting this post up here. its pretty late at night and im feeling vulnerable and somewhat dillusional.
i will probably take this down tomorrow. but for some reason i feel compelled to admit my guilt. in some ways maybe this is some sort of bizarre and twisted therapy. i am guilty. i have, and will fail. but i need to get over my superman complex and become vulnerable so that others can learn from my error.

ive come to see what a bastard of a human i have been in my life. i think it all started around the age of 21, maybe earlier. it wasn't sex i sought out in women. ever. it was merely the attention. and not just the attention from humans it was from only females. sad really. actually not even sad, its pathetic. i desired to be desired ironically. and that's it. once i was accepted it was over on some level.

i bought a shirt 2 days ago. it said CHANGE. random that some wear their heart on their sleeve, but modern fashion allows me to wear it on my chest as well. ive worn it 2 days in a row i like it so much.

i have never had a girlfriend that i didn't cheat on. always overlapping. always. being single is a new experience. a good experience. a sad experience to look back at how pathetic i was, merely months ago. i think i did have one girl i didn't cheat on. Ironically sarah broke up with me because she felt i 'cheated' on her by joking around and dancing at some random club with an x girlfriend. though sarah, i did not cheat on you. i didn't cheat on marilyn either. i just remembered that.

i think the simple root of the problem can be traced to the fact i never felt like my mother was proud of me. though i got a lot of attention from her, i do not think it was always the most positive. but i can't and will not blame this on my mom. actually i think its a cop out when people blame all their problems on their parents. poor cowards. they will live their entire life's never knowing that they themselves made the decisions. sad when people cannot take responsibilities for their own actions. but this is my confession, and my problem, and i am simply pointing out a possible root.

tonight i walked by men that couldn't have been but 10 years older than me. hitting on some women. i thought to myself how disgusting. all she is to them is prey. then i looked in the proverbial mirror. i don't want to be that man. single and hunting, years past days he should be making a family. and that's what it is right... hunting. well that's what it looked like anyway.

the other day we played an acoustic show in florida. a very nice looking young professional talked to me for quite a while. she said that her younger sister was a big fan. which i thought was funny.
at the end of the evening she gave me her card and asked her to call her so we could hang out and she could show me around the town.
on the way home i handed the card to dorian. he ripped it up. sorry if you see this M. but i thought you should know.
i don't want to be a bastard anymore. i am not going to hurt anyone anymore. i want a secluded life. i want to grow a beard. i wish i could walk away sometimes. to anywhere. but that's pretty coward of me isn't it.

insane as it sounds men glorify other men that break hearts and take names. from black books to books like "the game" by neil strous. we make it appears so glamorous to tear someone apart, take them for all they are worth, and walk away. i am sure there are several guys reading this that can relate. you have a game or plan on how to sway lips. pathetic is the key word in this dissertation.

i have a lot to learn. i am no where close to who i want to be. i am going to stay a few paces back from any relationship. i have broken a couple bridges, moved to fast, tried to slow down, and crashed. i have a reputation now. undeserved on many levels. deserved on many other bigger levels that those people don't even know about. "from the rooftops". death to seattle high schools.

i walked into a tattoo parlor with joey the other day.
on the wall there was a heart that looked like it had been sewn up. across it was the word repair. and for some reason it compelled me.

like anyone with a problem, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, well here's my admission. and though i am going to regret posting this at all maybe it will help someone admit something they are dealing with or help someone realize that they don't have to get attention from the opposite sex to feel validated. its so very pointless and shallow. be who you are.

as i was walking away from the tatoo shop i remembered the scripture that Christ had spoke "... i have come to heal the broken hearted". then i realized im the bastard that probably broke that heart. i will change. its simply a matter of time. just you wait and see.

repair. dismantled. repairing.
-estaban

amendment.
i guess the one thing i did not do is to say sorry to anyone i have hurt. sure this doesn't amount to much. words are the most meaningless objects i have in your lives at this moment. but maybe this is where honesty and admitting i am wrong come into play. with my heart and shortcomings exposed... i am sorry.


"architecture is but frozen music". - Johann Wolfgang

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

children are blank slates

my brother and i were discussing the innocence of children and he wrote this. its simple but maybe one of the most profound statements of my year thus far. by the way... hayden is my beautiful goddaughter (& niece).

'Every generation is a completely blank slate.
It just occurred to me today that many things do not exist in Hayden's perceptual world.

She has no idea about death, drugs, sex, burns, hate, homosexuality, abortion, cells, atoms, global warming, cancer, insanity, depression, anxiety, betrayal, religion, a perceptual higher power, war... it's no wonder kids are so happy. Maybe Adam and Eve in that garden were just children.

But if they were children, wouldn't it be abundantly predictable that those kids are gonna get into them apples...'
-paul edward

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

anchorandbraille.com

my friend ben harben has revamped anchorandbraille.com and i put up a new song that aaron marsh (copeland) and & did back in the winter break. the song is not mixed or matered but at least you can get some idea of where we are going.

Monday, April 03, 2006

oh, for the probable moment.

while reading this post, i think the most suitable song to listen to would be watashi wa's song ten years and separating...
let me be up front and honest. i have no idea what i am going to write about. i look back at the last couple weeks and try to wrap into words all that i have learned or experienced for some type of reading enjoyment. so instead of giving some psuedo-grandious story i will chop it up into my to-be-expected adhd rantings.
i applied my philosophy that i adopted from leonardo di vinci of being a universal man/women. 'it is better to know a little about alot, then alot about a little.' instead of being one sided when it comes to music i have been exploring the last couple years... but my latest discovery is the blues. my favorite song these last couple weeks has been 'i live the life i love, and love the life i love,' performed by buddy guy. jazz is the pop version of blues, blues comes right out of the abolishment of slavery. its heartfelt lyrics of sorrow are more easily swallowed than the swooning and complaints of some kid and an acoustic guitar from suburbia today.
while in sacramento we played a show next to a jazz club. i went in and met an elderly man named stan, he asked what i wanted to drink and in the spirit of striking up a conversation i asked him to pour whatever he liked the best. i think he was hesitant as to my curiosity into his knowledge of jazz and blues as he probably looked at my hair/skin color and my attire and second guessed my inquiry. i think i overtook him when i named the album playing quietly in the background. it was dave brubeck, and i exclaimed he was one of very few white guys that i would ever listen to play jazz, he laughed, then agreed. we went on to chat back and forth about favorites.
the funny thing about the whole thing is i know so very little about jazz and even less about blues, but instead of living in my callowness i felt i would i could learn more by acting like i knew something, and to hang on every work he had to say. most were opinions, but i was more willing to take his opinions as truth than my own inclinations on the subject. i think that in some way we can learn so much from just the simple pursuit into the unknown.
last night was amazing as well. wondering the placid and exiguous streets of salt lake city at 1 AM on a sunday night can be, well, uneventful.
passing a broad street right off of main st. two hippies were sitting on the bench talking in low hushed voices, the young lady asked for a couple bucks for a beer. instead of letting the probable moment pass by i asked if they wanted to join me and i would buy them one. sarah and josh acted like they were reacquainted friends from some time ago, she had very clear green eyes with just a slant of yellow in her right eye. i loved how inquisitive she was, he was a little more uptight but was very appreciative to the situation that we had just met. i on the other hand wanted to know everything. what brought them here, what did they learn from a life so separate from mine.
sarah clearly could have fit in in the '70's even though the amount of black she wore spoke of living in our day and age. she had a constant smile on her face, and i couldn't figure out if it was because she was trying to act if the whole time was not uncomfortable or if she was genuinely content. for a time in her life sarah worked at a burrito factory to afford the bare necessities to live a life of part seclusion upon a nearby mountain. fascinating. the one thing she said that her time in the mountains had taught her is that there are good people and bad people wherever you go. whether it is in the mountains or in a beach community, whether in a cafe' in paris, or in salt lake city on a sunday night, there are good people and bad people everywhere. noted. i walked away thinking though socioeconomic class, color of skin, or religious differences people are people. we are all the same, some more intelligent, some better looking, some lonely, some quiet, some outgoing, but no matter where we are/or who we are all connected by an inexplicable force called humanity.
and that's where this short novella ends. a lesson in my life learned, and hopefully yours.
your assignment:
first, sometime in the next two weeks find someone you may know or recently met and have them teach you something completely foreign to you. whether its there music, culture, history, or opinions seek them out.
secondly, go and meet a complete stranger and ask them what life has taught them up until this point in life.
please post comments and tell me about who you met and what they taught you.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

'I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.'
-mother teresa

i feel so distrustful at this moment from those i see as 'adults.' better yet those i view in a leadership role, or socially placed on pedestal. these last 1 1/2 weeks may have been the hardest week of my family/ my life.
unknown to me while i was on tour, my mother had been fighting a 104 degree phenomena attack and it was finally time that home remedies stop and an 'expert' opinion granted.
we should have stayed home.

talking to my mom on the phone the night she waadmitteded to the hospital i remember it being brief as she was coherent but very very weak. i remember a rushed 'love ya' as was atypical for family conversations, not always meaningful, but stated.
the next night my brother called right before i walked on stage in winston salem to tell me the state my mother was in.

avelox. a typical drug administered to pneumonia patients was given to my chemically sensitive mother. the first time the drug was administered within 3 hours she could not recall who the people in her room were, even though she was married to one of them for over 30 years and the others she bore. the second time the drug was administered she went into a psychotic episode where her fear filled dream world collided with reality within 30 minutes of administering intravenously the drug. her episode included us, the family, ripping off her legs and drawing the blood out of her arms and stabbing it into her eyes. needless to say we the family opted to take her off the drug. the doctors didn't agree. they believed my mom was mentally having a breakdown, as this drug AVELOX wouldn't/couldn't do this.
we the family sat by my mothers side 24 hours a day, some of the most terrifying moments of our lives as we never knew if we were going to really see our mother again. ever so slowly we saw her mentality raise from 3 year old to a 5 year old.

we began to research the drug and the reactions/side effects that they caused. thanks to paul's teacher who was not only a law professor but a Ph.D. in chemistry who did a google search, and in less than 2 minutes we found out that the FDA report exclaimed that if the person has low potassium that you are not supposed to administer the drug or the central nervous system will be severely adversely affected with the EXACT problems my mother was encountering.

what took a non-medical google search two minutes to find, an entire hospital could not figure out. her general physician refereed her to a psychiatrist that said it might be sleep deprivation, then he refereed her to a neurologist who couldn't find anything in TWO cat scans, then refereed her back to her general physician, who looked us straight in the eyes and said "she is fine". UNREAL!!!!!! this is blatent negligence. we told the doctor what was wrong with her, and yet he never conceded to the facts we presented.

by this time, 6 days into the "treatment" at the hospital, (heart of florida in central florida), had not given us any diagnosis.... to say the least we were irate. we then asked to be transferred and after haggling for over 48 hours we were released, and not even transferred.

we took my mother to the ormc in orlando and after the 8 hour emergency room wait we got in, showed our case, and within 3 hours were told we were correct on our diagnosis and she was released to home care.
my mother is slowly getting better after this massive shock to her nervous system. its a slow process but through it we have become a closer family, and i learned a great deal from this ordeal.

you see, those in leadership (whether in the public eye, or behind close doors) are simply human. we all make mistakes, not one of us is perfect. the problem is we put so much faith in doctors, lawyers, preists, rabbis, pastors, etc. that we don't realize that they are human and they make mistakes also. its hard to trust and know who to believe in these times, but without trusting people there are so many areas of your life that you cripple. walter anderson said, '“We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy'.

all that to say. in my dissalusion i cannot stop trusting those people that are out to help me, those who love me, those who are doing the best possible job they know how. you are all going to have an opportunity to stop trusting in someone or something. you have to look at the bigger picture, are all men going to hurt you? do all women think that way? do you have to make the same choices your parents did? are all friends going to stab you in the back like they did?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

nasa

recently a friend showed me this website that nasa updates each day.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

this is the most amazing picture i have ever seen of space.
this is The Tadpoles of IC 410
Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Observatory)
'Explanation: This close-up view shows a portion of otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410 in striking false-colors. It also shows two remarkable denizens of the glowing gas cloud at the right - the "tadpoles" of IC 410. The picture is a composite of images taken through narrow band filters intended to trace atoms in the nebula. Emission from sulfur atoms is shown in red, hydrogen atoms in green, and oxygen in blue. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars that energizes the glowing gas. Composed of denser, cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long. Sculpted by wind and radiation from the cluster stars, their tails trail away from the cluster's central region. IC 410 lies some 12,000 light-years away, toward the constellation Auriga. At that distance, this image spans about 70 light-years.'

Saturday, January 28, 2006

well behaved (people) never make history

i recently received a letter asking me about the subject of fitting in.
i declare that the investment of being socially accepted has little or no return; in other words the value of fitting in makes no logical sense in the course of time.
yet we persist to no avail.
i remember the two events that led to my eventual departure from the ‘popular crowd’ to the separation of their church and my state.
i was in 8th grade, dennison middle school, mrs. h’s class. her history classes were rather boring, and being that i was of the hyperactive mentality i was not doing so well.
because i came from (at that time) a lower socioeconomic status, where money was reserved for more important staples like milk, bread, and cheerios. needless to say my fashion sense suffered, and i felt inadequate next to the children of the upper class. one night my family set out to lakeland (an adjacent town) to visit ross, a discount clothing store for discontinued or disfigured garments. for us this was a big deal since it was one step up from goodwill or the salvation army. being that i desired so desperately to attend the surrounding style i knew i had to buy a ‘tommy hilfiger’ (an ‘all american’ apparel company) anything or everything.
my family gave me the usual spending limit and i had abandon all other staples, (such as socks, undergarment, and cheerios) for one and only one shirt. it was red and white striped, long sleeved tommy hilfiger shirt. i didn't want the shirt because it looked ‘cool’, in retrospect it may have been the worst piece ever in my wardrobe even at that time. i desired the shirt beyond anything because it had the hilfiger symbol on the left pocket that symbolized to all others “i am of worth,’ or so i desperately wanted. it didn’t.
you see all the lines in the shirt were vertical red and white but on the right sleeve the lines irregularly tilted towards the vertical. i thought no one would notice, i hoped that they would just concentrate on the branding i bought myself into. so here i spent all of my money in one place, on one shirt, and yet they did not focus on my new found importance, but that one sleeve did not match the rest of the shirt.
to this day, if anyone knows me personally they could tell you that i don’t wear any clothing where there is a symbol or branding of any company anywhere on my clothes if i can help it at all. i never want someone to feel less important or desirable even if your outfit may look the same as mine, but i announce to the world that i paid more by hosting a logo.
the second major event in the series of lifelong heckling happened around the same time. i wore payless boat shoes, not because they have ever been a fashion icon but because at pay-less shoe stores they cost about US13$. they were blue and the white sides would begin to crumble and virtually peel off as soon as you carried them outside the store.
a popular girl named amanda, whom i never will forget, made sure that when i walked into class the following day that she point it out to the entire classroom. “hey stephen, nice nike’s.” it was in that moment of collective classroom laughter that i realized that it was all pointless, i had tried the business of fitting in for years and no matter how hard i tried to buy into the system, the system never invested into me. from then on i converted the majority of my clothing to black, read and wrote, kept my head down, and was known as ‘the quiet kid’ in my high school career.
but looking back i would not have had it any other way. you see, the more i study history the more i realize that those who live their lives in the pursuit of making others accept them never make history at all. they have concentrated on promoting themselfs socially and not on what truly matters (such as knowledge, wisdom, and understanding).
look through history, it is the ‘troublemakers’ that stand out and change the world; some for good, some for worse. as a bumper sticker i once read exclaimed “well behaved women never make history.”
ghandi stood up. innocently enough through peaceful means he took down the british empire in india. the caste system he was born into made it readily available to live a very comfortable lifestyle, one that the british rule would not affect much. he could have ‘fit in’ or been comfortable in the situation he was in.
but... he didn’t stay in the mold, or follow the sheep. he became an individual.
one person -making history.
the list of men and women like this goes on; from joan of arc to martin luther each standing up as an individual. each not letting those that surround them (or the popular opinion) sway who they were or who they became.
time has taught me many lessons. but instead of going along with what others demanded of me socially i was freed to (as my mother would say) march to the beat of a different drummer. one of my greatest accomplishments is the fact that i turned my back on what others wanted me to become and in exchange changed into what i knew i could become. i am my own budha, i am my own judas iscariot, i am my own worst nightmare and best dream. i am a colossal failure, i am my greatest success, but at the end of the day i am me.
i am me.
be who you are.

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK. a hero to one. a hero to all.


After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood, If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I accept this award today (nobel peace prize) with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaimed the rule of the land. "And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid." I still believe that We Shall overcome!

This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.

I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners - all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty - and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.
-martin luther king jr.
(paraphrased nobel peace prize speech)
please check out this amazing site:
www.nobelprize.org

Thursday, January 12, 2006

acoustic show w/aaron marsh (*copeland)

Aaron Marsh * Copeland
w/ stephen christian *anberlin
Franc
& pimberly
Monday, January 16th @ The CSC (adjacent to UF)
112 NW 16th St.
Gainesville, Florida 32603, USA
doors open at 8:30 $5 Pre-sale/ $7 Door
352-379-7375 for more info

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

so very humbled...


thanks guys for the overwhelming response to the trip to haiti. i had no idea that you guys cared about the rest of the world with such exhilarating passion! so that being said i am running 50 more lithographs, this time on even thicker paper and with metallic ink. due to the cost of this (and shipping) these posters are going to be $20. again ALL the money raised from this poster pay for supplies to build, transportation, food, & sleeping arrangement. please contact me @ modestyguild@gmail.com
thanks so much!
your indebted friend,
stephen christian

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sunday, January 08, 2006

please help me get to haiti...

hello friends and family,
i wanted to fill you in and tell you about the opportunity i have to go to haiti for 2 weeks in may/june with a group of close friends, in several other bands, that i assembled. i got tired of telling people here on modesty that they should make a difference with their lives and realized that i need to go make a difference in more than just a music scene. i will be helping to add on a wing to an orphanage (and school) in the heart of port-au-prince, haiti. this is a dangerous trip as there have been several american kidnappings in recent history, but i can't let that stand in the way of potentially making a change in my life and in the world.
in light of this i am trying to raise money to get myself and several other people airlines, food, supplies, and lodging for the weeks we will be staying there. i have made limited addition (50) signed and numbered lithograph prints for my solo project (they are the size of a poster, and are a cardboard material). 100% of all the money received is going directly to this trip and nowhere else.
email me @ modestyguild@gmail.com if you are interested in buying a lithograph and i will give you more info.
thanks so much friends,
stephen christian

if you want more information on what charity we will be working for check out their website, www.hishomeforchildren.com

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

the begining of subtle ends

January 1st. the beginning of subtle ends. every year we make these grandiose statements about ideas and goals we hope to attain overnight. literally, as if making a promise at midnight will hold up till noon the next day. i say forget new years resolutions. life is not about make 100% changes overnight.
life is not a sprint to get what we want, but a slow and steady marathon to things we know we can become. if we decide to change our life i vote that it not be a dramatic turnaround, because we assimilate to the comfortable. instead try theory of 1%. whatever the goal is don’t blitzkrieg to attain but be slow and steady.
is your office a mess? don’t organize the entire thing today, because in a month you will be right back to where you started. instead take today to file 1% of the items on your desk. tomorrow do 1% more, and the next day do 1% more. in no time you will be where you want to be, and naturally you will teach yourself the invaluable lesson of organization.
do you want to learn piano, this daunting task in not something obtained overnight, this is done through hours of practice, start with just 5 min. a day, don’t do more, be strict with 5 min. alone. then each week add 1% more. you can do it. and you won’t be tempted to give up, because who doesn’t have 5 min.?
saying that i have determined to write for myself 101 goals for myself this year, im only up to 64, its a lot harder than it sounds. but im on my way. even if only accomplish half, hey that's 50.5 goals accomplished! in case your stuck on your first few a couple of my goals are...
1. draw closer to family
2. finish book
3. set 101 goals
4. spend less/invest more
5. pay bills on time
6. refuse to be lazy
7. develop better writing skills
8. read more/watch less
9. finish solo EP
10. drink less coffee/ drink more water
etc.

can i change this overnight? heck no! but if i watch 1 tv show a day instead of 2, and read a book for that half an hour i have accomplished 2 of my goals. ok so i have to learn my own theory of 1% and maybe just watch 55 min. of msnbc and the history channel and not an hour i can change.

you can change! you can accomplish those new years resolutions but don’t try it ‘cold turkey’. try a slow meticulous conscience change, and the outcome will be much more effective.
have a wonderful 2006 my dear friends,
-estaban