Yesterday… a time forgotten before tomorrow even starts

I was young, I was 16. Apart from writing poetry and books, writing and performing music is another integrated part of my life. I have played (and still play) the Accordion, the Piano, the Clarinet, the Saxophone, and the guitar, as well as signing professionally.

There is so much music that touches me, touches my soul, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. When I was growing up being born in the ’70’s, I was a child of the 80’s, so I listened to music of the 70’s and 80’s. I still find that music enjoyable, and love to laugh at how my taste in music has become to the younger generation what my parents taste in music was to so many of my contemporaries (although I love Zeppelin, The Moody Blues, The 4 Seasons, and many other groups that pre-date me).

I grew up in a Evangelical Christian family, and when we were very little, we started listening to A Cappella hymn tapes every night when going to sleep, every night of my childhood life – and so was instilled in me a love for the human voice.

When I grew into my teenage years, and I abandoned all that I knew to be good and wholesome, I moved to rap – and not just any rap, but hardcore, gangster rap. The kind that elevates death and violence towards human beings; it’s no wonder I then got into drugs, and started hanging out with shifty people and doing dangerous things.

When I got married, my wife (very quickly) put an end to listening to that type of music, although I have to say that even to this day a good rap beat and lyrical rhyme will catch my ear and take me back, to long ago days that can’t be forgotten.

As I grew older, I began to fall in love with classical music (In fact I started playing different classical piano pieces around 16), Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Debussy, and many others. The music is so relaxing, and yet, invigorating. You can float and slide over the notes and the intricate way in which they weave in and out to tell a story.

I’ve even written and recorded songs, and of course, my songs, unlike other people’s songs, have a special meaning to me; and yet, I’m not going to comment on one of my own songs this time (how narcissistic do I really want to seem? :-))

So here I am, one of the first nights of one of my first vocal performances that would set me into years of limelight and competitions. I was singing “In the still of the night”, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

It was very bright, it was a bit cold (it was late in the year, and we were in a big open gym). There were hundreds of people. As typically happens to me when I perform, or speak in public, I get totally lost in the moment, I forget where I am, I forget who I am; there is just me, and my audience, there is just me and my task at hand.

It was an A Cappella song, no instruments; boys singing only. I was standing in the front of a half circle, surrounded by my classmates. The song started up, and I was whisked away. I was singing to that special someone, I was singing like it was my first chance to make an impression and my last chance to ever sing again. I don’t remember the song (although I have a recording of it somewhere [this is how I hooked my wife *grin*], so I can listen to it still).

But when it was all over with, there was cheering, and a standing ovation. It was deafening in my own ears, it was a start of a beautiful thing.

But, in truth, none of this is what captures me back to that moment and time. In fact, when I recall that time, now, none of that happiness and being proud of my performance really shines through that much. When I think about that night, I can’t help but break down into uncontrollable shaky tears. It was right before I went on stage that night that we received a call at my parent’s house telling my parents that my nephew had passed away in his sleep that afternoon.

Even now, I can hear them say to me “You have a big performance tonight, you have to focus on that”, and I can only barely remember how upset they were. I blocked it from my mind. And what impresses itself the most on me from that evening, is that I did just that. It didn’t really bother me at the time, in fact, for years afterwards, I never quite came to a realization (and even now can’t fully grasp) of a parent’s worst nightmare of losing one of their children to the enemy of death.

How I could go on, as if nothing happened, when the world of someone who was close to me was completely destroyed and torn down, I still can’t even fathom to this day.

Sometimes it’s not even what a song says to you that creates that arresting moment, it’s not what you were doing, but what you weren’t doing that is forever emblazed on your mind. I can mourn now, but I didn’t mourn with them then.

And it is, so many times in our life, that we don’t realize the day to day monotonous things that we do aren’t really what’s important; it’s who we do them with, it’s who we share time with, and who we are there for when they need us most.

Here there are no friends…

Sometimes we try and hide behind our happy days… it isn’t always happy days… I remember some of my not so happy days…

There once was a time

When friendship found

That love was pure and good.

And into life

A royal crown

Was placed upon my hood

So I licked death in it’s

Fuckin’ face

And entered into the night

That’s where I

Found my friendship fiend

We killed till morning light

The embered pain

That from my heart

Came pounding in

With Surf

And foiled all

My hopes and dreams

And swallowed me in the earth!

Damn this pain

And suck my wounds

I’ll live inside a bar,

Follow demons into the night

End life…

Like a shooting star…

©1995 Jediah Logiodice

Running from an Addiction

This poem identified within me, a rebirth. I was 18 and I was trying hard to break free from an overuse of marijuana. I was, the night that I penned this, standing in the parking lot of an Irving all night diner. I was alone, my head was foggy, but was slowly clearing up. I was remembering nights when I had been so drugged up that I could barely even breathe, I couldn’t think, I was ecstatic with fake joy, colors and sounds all swirling together, hallucinations, as I sat and watched my life literally flash before my eyes . The silence was deafening.

I was running from life, I was running from pain, I was trying to cover all the hurt that I had, but no matter where I went, even if I went into a house, and closed and locked the doors behind me, the pain always seemed to find me. And in the end, when the morning sun came up, as my head began to clear, as I climbed outside of my wooden box of death, I would drive back to my house, to once again live another day as if I was just a typical, normal person, on the outside….

So, here is the poem…

Run Run Run away!

Where ya gonna go?

Find a rock as big as sea

And cover life from woe.

Silence roams upon the earth

Knocking door to door,

Bringing deadly winter chills

Oozing through the floor.

Fleeing life and French-kissed pain

Driving out into the night

Placing mellow in your heart

Holding on for infernal flight.

Screaming, soaring,

Ecstatic moon

Covering your sorrow

Climbing free from mildew waste –

Cringing in sun’s ‘morrow.

Sinking freely in the water

Rising from the stone –

Open eyes, and blinding light,

Marching on towards home.

©1996 Jediah Logiodice

Reflection on the Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I love The Road not Taken…. however, here is the question, did he believe he took the right road?

Herein lies the enigma of human existence, the game of “What If”. I had a young lady that I was in love with, to the point that I felt like I would die living without here (even now, almost 15 years later, it still pains my heart to think of). She quoted this, the last day I remember spending time with her. She was a year older than I, and going off to college, she felt that it was time for her to step out into the world, and try the road less taken. She had one road, that seemed safe, it was the road that seemed more traveled, but she wanted to take the road less taken.

And here, Robert says “I kept the first for another day, yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back” – he made a choice, and regretfully knew that he would never be able to come back to that point in his life where he could make this same choice again.

And he continues on, “I shall be telling this with a sigh” – and I believe the heart of this sigh is, he still wonders, what would have happened if he took the road more taken. He never really tells if he regretted it or not, he just says that his decision made all the difference – which is the beauty of this poem – he leaves it to each and every reader, to look into their own heart, and their own experience, and answer this question for themselves… “Do I regret the road I have taken”.

Notice the title of the poem – it’s not The Road I Took, it’s the Road Not Taken – I think that in our lives, we will all be plagued by the road we didn’t take as we wonder “What If” – but that’s a question we’ll never have answered.

I wish I had written this poem, it’s so full of heart, and pain and hope!

The little Christ…

I’m dressing up like Christ today

I’m walking out the door

I don’t quite fit inside his skin

I’m lacking so much more

Outside you see this humble soul

That cares and gives and loves

Inside, alas, so much is bad

It’s stained, it takes and shoves

Each day I put this costume on

To do the things He’d do

I walk the walk, I talk the talk

Yet, things still show right through

But every day I put him on,

I feel a bit more sure,

As passes time, the thing I find

His being covers more

I wonder if I shrink to fit

The skin he let me wear

Or if it grows to cover those

Places that I’m so bare

But what I’ve found, as time winds down

My image shines so bright

For by his power, in my last hour

He seals me with his might.

Less of me, and more of Christ!

©2007 Jediah Logiodice

The firing line…

I’m going over to UMF tomorrow night with Bill (the pastor @ our church). He has offered, in conjunction with 2 other evangelical Christians to sit on a panel to allow unbelievers to come ask their questions, their concerns, or even to attack (if they so choose) the historical Jesus and Christianity.

I can’t imagine putting myself on the firing line like that – it must take a lot of faithful expectations that God will provide the answers (And he indeed gave that promise to the apostles when they come before kings and rulers in authority – how much more so would he for the common people like you and I).

In knowing Bill, the purpose is not to argue, but it is to help expose people to Christ, that would normally never set foot in a Church.

What does a biblical Christian look like?

So many people are afraid to say that the bible is open to interpretations, I believe it is. It also seems clear to me that there is only one ‘right’ interpretation, but equally clear, that no one has that one interpretation in its entirety. I might be right about one point, but just as wrong about another point.

To me, I believe the bible makes it clear that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about learning, and growing from each other, changing and maturing to be more like Christ would ask us to be (The law and the prophets are summed up in two things, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and Soul, and Love your neighbor as yourself). Lewis, in his book “Mere Christianity” makes the statement that if there are those that have chosen a different ‘denomination’ then you, and you believe they are wrong, then you are to pray for them, and love them, for even our enemy we are told to pray and love all the more!

With all that being said though, I think it’s important to have a set of rules for interpreting it, a correct Hermeneutics as it’s called. If we don’t agree on the rules for interpreting English, how then can we agree on what an English passage says – the same with the bible, unless there is a scholarly agreement on how to interpret the bible, then how can we know for sure, what the passage says, either in the context of when it was written, or in the context of today’s day and age.

And I disagree with some who say that the rules for biblical interpretation are “How it sounds to me”. I think the Spirit’s working is definitely part of it – but God never worked in one individual. Even Christ found himself a party of believers to surround himself with and preach the word. Christ says “Where two or more gather in my name, there I will be”. When Paul talks about the gifts of the Spirit he makes it plain that the gifts were spread out to many believers, so that together, they may work together to display and proclaim the word of God and encourage each other for more noble things.

I think the solo scriptura view is false [That is much different than the Reformed view of Sola Scriptura] (that is, solo scriptura is the view that the bible is the only authority (me the bible and God), solA scriptura is the view that the bible holds the final authority, but that God has revealed himself in many different fashions throughout all of history) – God gave us history, he gave us great thinkers, he gave us revelation about himself spread throughout history, more than just in the bible (Romans said what may be known about God is plain, because God has made it plain).

C.S. Lewis calls it, in his book “Mere Christianity” – “Good Dreams”, that God throughout history has spread himself and the knowledge of himself throughout the entire world, so that those who seek him will find him, although he is not far from them. In Athens on Mars Hill, Paul says, that they are serving the idea of God, but they do not even know the real God, that the Greeks call him Zeus (His reference to the poets citing “In him we move and breath and have our being” is a reference to a poem written to Zeus), but he says that he will declare to them the real God that they are speaking of.

God clearly wants us to rely on his Spirit not just in the here and now (which is another false pretence that many Christians think that our generation is better, smarter and more informed than previous generations) – but he wants us to rely on his workings throughout history. To read, and learn, and understand the decisions and disagreements throughout history, and use them to help build and understand what it is that God wants us to learn.

One thing that Lewis said is that belief is Jesus’ death and resurrection is the pivotal thing of Christianity. That understanding Christianity (more specifically Jesus’ death), is like understanding Vitamins and minerals when we eat. We ate before we understood vitamins and minerals, we eat even now with our understanding of Vitamins and minerals, and if someday we find that our whole view of vitamins and minerals was wrong – we will continue to eat. We can still be nourished by the vitamins and minerals in our food, without understanding exactly how it nourishes us. We can be saved as Christians, without understanding the in-depth technical details of what actually happened when Christ died and was resurrected.

I think this vitamin view can be applied to so many other things in Christianity. True, we don’t intentionally disregard God’s word, if we don’t like it, or want to do something different, but there is no reason that we should fear that if we get something wrong, because we couldn’t understand it that he is going to condemn us to an eternity in hell.

I’m finishing up a book right now, a book by C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity” – I would HIGHLY recommend getting a copy and reading it. Lewis was not a theologian, and he speaks in such plain terms about what “mere Christianity” is, apart from all the things that people have tried to make it into. It’s AMAZING!

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