If I Had Never Been Broken

Is it just me?, life, stories

A letter arrives mysteriously in my mailbox, coated in a black envelope, sealed in blood red ink. 

Breaking the seal and pulling out the parchment reveals an enticing offer of redemption: the chance to start over. A fresh start, a clean slate, to go back in time and never be broken. To erase all the mistakes I’ve made that have kept me from being the best I can be.

To have never been broken. What would life be like? I could have my dream job, old friendships, a clean medical history. But none of that would ever make it worth it. Because if I’d never been broken I would have never met you.

Broken. Here’s the recap – A misfit child. At 15 I begin a viscous cycle. I lose a friend and choose my next direction poorly. I spiral, and leave the prestigious school. I end up at home, where I regroup and hope for a new beginning just an hour away. I fail, again. The cycle continues. Then I meet the catalyst, who pushes me towards recovery. I seek professional help where I end up in an dark office, talking about childhood and…everything else. I find meaning in my studies and intern. They hire me, and I stay awhile. Then a friend leaves, and I speak with another. We become friends, and I meet you at three months. At nine months, you’re my best friend. And you’re the most wonderful human ever to exist.

If a clean slate means never meeting you, then I take this letter and set it aflame. Thank the universe that I was so deeply broken, because after all that madness, I was lucky enough to be your friend. With you, despite my broken soul, I am my best. Whatever fate has brought me, I accept it with open arms. I have you, and you are all I need.


One of the Greatest Humans Ever to Exist

East Texas Metalheads

Is it just me?, life, Songs, Wildlife

We are few in numbers. It’s a tough life. No one around here understands what brings us joy. To them, it’s just “noise.” To us, it’s heavenly. (With a touch of Satan? ;])

Have you heard it? The guitar riffs and double bass? The screaming in your face? The sounds take us away…to a much better place. Free of hurt and pain. 

Metal. Metalcore. Death metal. Deathcore. Black metal…etc. Genres aside, this is the sound that saves our lives. This is how we survive in a world that has pushed us outside to rot and die. We are outcasts, but as the song blasts through the speakers we become one force. Together. We are few, but we are not alone. 

We show up early, dressed in black and gray. We live with headphones always ready to play. How many songs can we listen to today? It only takes a few minutes to ease up the pain. We await the drop of the curtain with anticipation and adrenaline. 

No one here understands, no one knows what it’s like to hear the screaming metal and be brought back to life. Their sound is monotonous, an electronic lie. Our sound is genuine and fuels us to fight. 

We jump and yell, awaking an internal army to battle the beast within. Our eyes open wide as the drums beat and begin. The music is a drug, a drug that saves the soul from the plights of an arduous life we lead. 

Our numbers are small, yet we are strong. We have heart like no other and we’ll support the music of thunder until our days come to an end. We roar. We rage. We have survived the blackest of days and risen above the grave to stand tall and scream with the masters on the stage.

We are the metalheads of East Texas.


Crow on the Beach

Life Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

Is it just me?, life

Kindness keeps the world spinning. Compassion is necessary for the survival of our species. Compliments are free and simple. And it’s okay to give one to yourself from time to time.

You love someone? Make sure he/she knows it. Are you sorry about something? Swallow your pride and apologize. 

Unhappy? Change it. Sad? Find a funny picture to make yourself laugh. Tired of running? Stop and breathe. 

Life doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, life can be quite simple. We, as humans, are the reason life becomes so complex and twisted. We create disaster and drama. The universe isn’t out to get us, the entire world isn’t set up to make us fail, and not everything is preplanned or predestined. 

Shit happens and things can turn extremely sour and unfortunate. But goodness does exist on this planet. It’s not going to fall into our laps – we have to make the goodness happen. We have to push through the arduous days a make better things come.

Be honest, give compliments, show compassion, hug everyone you encounter, smile at strangers, laugh if it’s funny, cry if it’s sad, leave if you’re unhappy, and move on if it’s destroying you from the inside out. Help others when they’re in need, be selfless, be selfish, make decisions on the fly.

Life doesn’t have to be gray and dull, life doesn’t have to be confusing. Go with it, see where it takes you, give everything up and embrace the life you’ve been handed. Choose new paths. Take new routes. Create original works of art and scenery. Write a book of madness and experience everything there is to possibly encounter in this life.

Be a friend, be ridiculous, be weird and quirky, be wise and learn new information everyday.

Be yourself and go where life leads you. Not everything has to be so complicated. Keep it simple.



Moonlight Lake in Summertime

Is it just me?, life, Metaphors in Nature, Perimeter Paddle (CCL), Poems, stories

Driving over the lake at night, mid summertime. Warm air, without wind, perfect, just right. Wishing this moment of comfort and fun could last an eternity. If Heaven is real, it must be like this. 

There’s work tomorrow morning, a normal day ahead, but none of that matters when the moonlight reflects off the glassy black water. Houses are silent across the land, all boats are shutdown for the evening. It’s quiet. Absolute stillness. 

Parking at a boat ramp and walking to the end of the pier, I gaze out at all the lights across the vast body of calm water. All different kinds of people inhabit the large homes of stone and glass windows. But none of them matter in this moment. All I see are the lights as they create an image of stars across the moonlit horizon. I’m standing on a platform in another universe where people, other than myself, do not exist. I’m alone. Completely alone, standing on the edge of an unknown expanse far from civilization. 

Cars cross the bridge with great speed off to my left. They’d never notice a lone soul standing in the midnight moonlight. They’re only comets scraping the sky in my universe of silence.

The warmth of the night brings a indescribable comfort to my wretched heart. All the cold has melted away and left me cleansed. The water of the reservoir evaporates under the heat and enters my lungs with every breath. All the negativity of the world, every impure thought, and each scar all heal with the vapor of the black moon water.

In this moment, I am free. I am alone and at peace. My soul is pure, safe, and clean. Stars, moonlight, warm water, warm air, barefoot, unseen.

I am the lake and the lake is me. We are one. We are free.


Calm Before the Storm

Is it just me?, life, Metaphors in Nature, Poems, Wildlife

There’s a calm like no other, before the storm shreds the shutters, where a lonely lone wolf wonders all night long. 

A sadness drains the thunder, the rain pours out in gutters, the darkness hides the summer with clouds and fog.

A child searches for her mother, and yearns to please the brother, the heart has been asunder far too long. 

The storm shed won’t shudder, the strength is going under, her mind is lost in clutter and righting wrongs. 

Where does the darkness end, if not when she is dead, she’s paying for her sins all in one. 

Let the storm begin, she will be free again, allow the rage to send out its guns.

Hail and straight line winds, tornadoes spin and spin, flooding all within a fate undone. 

No one here can win, she can’t keep it in, battles never bend until the sickness runs. 

Century long silence, preceding a violence, she doesn’t like it but has no choice. 

Insidious slyness, hiding in the cypress, the calm is dying as she finds a voice. 

Tumultuous tyrants, planted a virus, forgetting all kindness in the world. 

Peace we’re not finding, children are crying, time to start fighting with swords. 

The clouds are rolling in, we all will face our sins, this is how it ends in fields of blood. 

Her hands control the wind, lightning from within, find a place to sit and watch the fun. 

Apocalyptic penicillin, nothing can stop this, bodies will cringe as they run. 

Their crimes to commit, feeding her vengeance, creating an ending of destruction. 

They made a monster with their rules and standards. She stayed calm for too long, sulking in silence and sadness. One day, she allowed her anger to erupt and infect the world. She would make them regret the pain they caused.


The Sounds that Save My Soul

Is it just me?, life, Metaphors in Nature, Pets, Poems, stories, Wildlife

The laugh – that sweet, soft, soul stopping laugh that could melt even the hardest of hearts. When you see it coming and hear its tunes, you won’t be able to stop the smile from overtaking your expressions. No one – not the coldest, saddest, or cruelest of humans can resist the chuckle of the child.

The purr – a sound to let me know that he feels safe. That he’s happy in his forever home. A tiny motor running at full power. I put my ear to his ribs and listen. Warm, comforting, gentle and pleasant.



The birds – they chirp and sing in the morning sunlight. A chorus of vast species to wake the spirit from rest.  A steady melody, one after the other. Flying, chirping, soaring from tree to tree through the early morning breeze.


Seagulls in Galveston

The howls – the pups are hungry and excited to see the first glimpse of a human face for the day. Genuine love. Genuine happiness. It radiates with their every sound. I want to leap with joy alongside them.



The music – a song for sorrow, a ballad for love, guitars for greatness, bass for battles ahead. All moods, all challenges, covered in a three minute masterpiece of instruments and melody. They play in random order, each one causing feelings to stir in my heart.

And again, the laugh – always back to the laugh of the infant. It is without a doubt or debate the single most beautiful sound ever heard by a living soul. It meshes together every wonderful moment of audio into one single note. Every memory of happiness, everyday of excitement, each pleasure circuit activated in the brain – all sparked and spinning as one when the sound of the laugh hits my ears.

These are the sounds that feed my soul. Every second of everyday, they truly save me.