Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

king... of an island of one.

its amazing how easy that we as humans can justify whatever we want to revolve around this ever changing universe called ‘us’. i have watched over the years as men and woman of all ages have tunneled their way so deep into the caverns of their own selfishness that they end up lost and suddenly have the need to blame God or others, without taking a step back to see what got them there.

the breathtaking irony is that we as people know when we are wrong, we know when they have reached a place where we have isolated themselves from humanity , right, and wrong, and yet feel comfortably numb to remain there. the course in correcting this colossal mistake is not easily corrected because selfishness and pride are can be easily chalked up to individuality and ambition.

have you ever lied to others so much that you actually started to believe it? have you ever repeated a story so many times that it became a true mythological tale in your own life? i have. because for whatever innate reason we all have a longing to be gods among men. but gods are simply legends, and not human. you may not believe me, or disagree with my wording, but if you take in a brief observation of our current culture the goal is not to be rich, but to be famous. everyone longs for the attention of another’s eyes.

there is beauty in mortality and humanity, there is beauty in this triumphant tragedy called life. if with no one else… try beginning to be real with yourself. tell yourself the truth, allow yourself to feel guilt and regret because without it there is no course correction. sometimes the shame of a past failure is just enough to open our eyes to our own humanity and become a better person.

stop justifying the ‘sins’ in your life, stop pretending that you know what your doing. look in the mirror today and this time just stare. just look into your own eyes because only you know what is happening behind that blank stare. do you like who you see? is this the person you thought you would be? are you proud of all the actions this person has committed? who is this person looking out for?

author g.k. chesterton wrote of a man who sailed from america to england, but early on in his trek he got of course by only a few degrees. when he finally touched down on land he soon came to the realization that he was in africa. you see it is not massive failures that lead us to a life of self-absorption but a few small ‘insignificant’ mistakes that have been corrected so easily if we would just stop and change our course.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

you are safe here...



i only have one memory of my grandfather, anton. we were wrestling in the living room of his house on niles avenue in saint joeseph, michiagn. he was egging me on to wrestle, but being shy and very young i avoided his taunts but remember clearly the big smile and heavy accent that accompanied the moment. my grandfather died in 1983, much to early for me to have a deep or meaningful relationship or conversation with him. growing up he had always been a folklore to me, the stories that were passed around at sunday dinners were my childhood mythology.

my grandfather wrote a short journal when he was in a hospital in the 1970’s. it has circulated my family for years but wasn’t translated from german to english until recently. the first time i read it i was in tears, then the second time, and so on. this short book takes that original journal and turns it in to a story, where all the characters and events were absolutely factual. i kept as close to the journal as i could, even using word for word descriptions.

through this process i got to know the man, the myth, and the human that i never had an opportunity to know. i hope that you find inspiration in his words and hope in his survival, like i did. please check out my new title 'you are safe here...' online for free. it is a passion project, one that i am really proud to be apart of.

i am not an editor, and i do not claim to be a writer, i really wrote this for my family, but wanted to share it with you because i believe that we can take a lot of strength and encouragement by watching others succeed over seemingly insurmountable odds.

click here to read: http://youaresafehere.tumblr.com/

-stephen christian

you are safe here...


i wrote a 'book' for my mother, it is about her parents and their escape from the hardships of germany in world war II. i am in the process of creating a website for it for those who want to read it for free. i found my opa's (grandfathers) 30 page journal and set out to create into a dialog and story without distorting the truth or message. i will deliver soon, hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

fail flat on your face.

im in montreal, walking up and down the streets, exploring in stereotypical fashion, when i glace up and see a sunglass’ advertising that says ‘no regrets’. no regrets? really? people still say that, or rather people still believe that?

to live without regrets is ridiculous, it would in essence be saying that every decision you had made in the past was either the correct one, it was stupid and you don’t care, or you had a lobotomy and are lethargic.

we have to live with regret, it haunts some of us every day, for others we drowned it in substance, entertainment, or preoccupation. making bad decisions is a part of life, but we learn from them and we move on, constantly aware of our weakness and trying at all costs to avoid it. to say ‘no regrets’ is to fail flat on our face stand up, throw our fist and cheesy mantra in the air and fail again with no regard for our own human dignity or responsibility.

the ad was 2 couples all wearing sunglass’ sitting in each others laps, as if to say, ‘something happened last night and we don’t care.’ congratulation’s? you just slept around and instead of feeling guilty or at the very least feeling kind of sleezy you just woke up sat in your partners laps and then put on sunglasses? i just want you to look your parents in the face and right after you tell them your pregnant yell ‘no regrets!’. or better yet when your at the doctor and he says ‘i am so sorry i have bad news about something you have contracted’ you get on the examining table and yell ‘no regrets’ then march out of his office singing a clash song.

so learn from what you have done wrong, after all who cares that you messed up! we all do! it is what happens from this day forth that matters.

to error is human, to put sunglasses on afterwards and do the same thing over again is just stupid.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

if only i had a timemachine

dear high school stephen,
there is so much i want to say, but a lot i don’t because in life sometimes you have to learn the lessons the hard way. people can try to teach you, and beg you to change, and hope for the best but at the end of the day you have to learn the lesson.
you are absorbed with the opposite sex, but honestly you are not going to end up with any of them, actually you will lose track of everyone you have known from this era of your life except for a few people… and those were your guy friends. instead of trying to hang out with the opposite sex all the time why don’t you concentrate on developing meaningful long term friendships. trust me there is no point to attempt anything else.
popularity is the most pointless pursuit you could ever honestly strive for in your whole life. you are going to look back at these days with near disgust thinking of the clothes you wore, the clubs you joined, or didn’t join, the people you hung out with, or left behind, all in attempts to do what? popularity dissipates as soon as you throw your hat in the air at graduation. it vanishes within mere seconds. like aforementioned you will NEVER see these people again, a year after you graduate you will be off to college and perhaps see one person from your old school walking the opposite direction on campus. you won’t even say a word, just nod. do me a favor and wear a pink boa and sunglasses to school. rid yourself of caring what other people think. you are not your status.
do you remember all those nights where you spent with your family and you wished you were out doing anything but? guess what, now you wish you could go back in time and spend one more weekend night eating pizza and watching a movie with them. popularity is extinct, the friends you knew then have moved on, the ‘cool’ places you hung out at closed down, and all you have now is your family. never ever take them for granted. actually… spend more time getting to know them individually. they all turn out to be amazing people. and don’t take for granted your grandparents, your really really going to miss them after they are gone.
confidence. you have none. and i don’t know how to teach it to you through a letter. why not is all i am saying. why not try things you have never tried. why not go places you have never gone. why not just say yes. why not stay up all night. why not just walk up to them and introduce yourself. why not learn to play the guitar better (hint hint), just try it.
this world is small, trust me, it is so very small. new york city rests in the palm of your hand, los angeles, the ends of the earth, all of it is obtainable. don’t be intimidated by what you can’t see because honestly, the opportunities are endless. just go. just do. if you want to move anywhere you can make it. get rid of your small town mindset as soon as possible. you are not trapped, you are not bound to any one town.
you are not bound by your grades. don’t think you’re a failure because your report card indicates it so, who can test creativity? who can put a grade on ambition? your smart enough, and with enough perseverance you can make it to grad school if you wanted. all in due time.
your future self, stephen

Thursday, April 14, 2011

our ever crumbling little empire.

you have no idea, then again i can't say i have much of an idea as well. we believe because we can look at it from the outside and watch your glass world crumble and know exactly what we would do in that situation because, well, were not in it. we are all so quick to judge on other peoples little empires.



i once saw an article on a politicians wife who decided to stay with him even though he had cheated on her and the scandal became public. she stayed with him out of love and with the willingness to forgive this atrocious behavior deep into a vow. and yet the comments that followed the article were perhaps worse than the acts committed. the people ripped her up, calling her weak, and not a real woman. how many of these people have walked in her shoes, had the years of committed relationship, or knew all the details. but because we sit perched high above it is so easy to summarize her life and feel we know best as for what she should do next for her and her children.

i do it to. when i see a homeless person i always want to know how they got there, what decisions did they make to end up there, if any. i assume that it had to do with a drinking or drug problem, and i look down at them and say 'well just quit!'. but i have never done heroin, and have no idea the death grip that it has on its subjects. i don't know there background, i don't know what mental capabilities they may or may not possess. it is so much easier to say 'get a job' then 'let me help you find one'.

next time you silently stare and assume, judge, and pass a verdict on another human take a second to create a backstory in your head. were they abused? perhaps that is one of the many reasons they ended up selling themselves on the side of the road. are they drunk out of their mind again tonight? perhaps there was a massive family tragedy in their lives and that is their only coping mechanism. instead of declaring them all helpless see if you can help.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

how very fragile.


whether we understand it or not this life that we have is so fragile. i look around at the world today and see so many natural catastrophes and wonder how they came to be, and why now, and how is it that with so much technology they could not foreshadow this coming. it could happen any minute to any one of us, and yet there are days that we wish would hurry up and end.

sometimes i let my mind wander to the events of the day of a person who loses their life. they wake up, like every other day and brush their teeth, put on their favorite t-shirt, have a bowl of cereal, and on their way to work they stop at the gas station to fill up. then it happens. out of nowhere, and when they woke up just hours before they had no idea.

i heard that if our planet was one degree closer to the sun we would burn and if we were one degree away we would all freeze, how fragile this world really is. who can account for mother nature the beautiful sunrises and the storms that brew in the evening.
this is not a depressing post, at least it was not meant to be. it was meant so be a breath of fresh air, to sit back and take a look at everything you have, everyone you have, and appreciate it all. the good and the bad.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A&B 'EMPIRES'

the song 'empires' is available exclusively on anchor&braille's vinyl 'FELT' available here