Monday, September 20, 2010

What Matters Part 2

Mr. Hunter,

I am tired of being beaten down by this place. I'm tired of this spirit-crushing climate where with a smile they offer in one extended hand joy beyond comprehension in the form of eternal families and living with God again, in with the other strike me down so viciously for wanting to do exactly what I've been told to do: form a family. I'm tired of being told that serving others is somehow equivalent to the peace, security, and joy found in a companion that you've spent decades with side by side in tragedy and wonder. I'm tired of feeling like I am somehow subhuman to all those around me. That I have some kind of disease, temptation, or evil spirit placed there by biology, culture, choice, God, or the Devil.


No more with this word play that leaves me gasping for breath and struggling to hold back the tears. I will not yield one more piece of my heart to them so that they can feast upon my pain, sorrow, and desire to be human! I have reached the end of my complacency while watching the placid smiles on the faces of those that express belief in a loving God that is at best distant and at worst cruel beyond imagination.

My heart has bled enough from this. I have shed too many tears and have allowed too many times of panic clutching at my chest and stomach until I want to drop to my knees in surrender. How can such an institution that claims to be the Ultimate Good cause so much sorrow and pain? When I think back on my own pain I want to take my fist and break through the wall. I don't want to beat my fists against solid wall anymore. I want to obliterate that wall.

I have seen too many friends twist and turn as they attempt to find themselves. Standing at crossroads with a weariness so apparent in how they stand, shoulders barely held up, and eyes downcast. I have stood by the side of friends that have begged for life to not extend beyond this moment. I have heard the words of fear, seen bodies contorted to meet the needs of people that barely acknowledge the twisted state of my friends' souls. I have steadied trembling limbs, brushed away tears of pain, and kissed back pain. I have done all of this without any complaint and without question will do it again a million times over. But come daylight or the bell ringing or the hours passing they bury their pain and put on a face to hide their torn souls from the world.

I want to scream until my voice is hoarse, Mr. Hunter. I want to rage and shake the very pillars of the earth. I want to just flex this rage within and strike vengeance at someone...something...

But how will that heal broken hearts? How will that bring my friends (and I) to understand we are not evil, wrong, or abandoned? How will any of my anger soothe painful wounds inflicted by careless or deliberate words? How would my anger help?

So here I am, Mr. Hunter, fists raised and ready to fight but shoulders slumped under the knowledge that it would make no difference. I lower them knowing I possess not the power to make things right. It's times like these I wish the God of Justice, spoken of in Christian and Mormon scripture, were real. But that God hates my brothers and I. We are a scourge down through the ages. We have no place with that God. He would never give us justice...or mercy.

What do I do now, Mr. Hunter? I just want to be done with everything in this place and leave and never return.

Your brother

What Matters Part 1

Mr. Hunter,

I apologize for using a name I gave you in high school but it is necessary to do so at this time. I choose to write to you out of a need to put to words what I normally cannot say. Perhaps as I do so, I can begin to dissolve the bitterness that's inside of me these past few weeks. I cannot seem to channel it. So I write these words to you in the hopes that you can answer the questions that I have, lying hidden between the lines.

Hypocrite. The very word knifes through my soul with a heat that I cannot seem to cool. I see the word etched into my face and hear the word thundering in my ears whenever I step foot on campus or walk among these Mormons. It is a sensation that I cannot seem to shake. I am bothered by what I see around me as well as inside of me.

Mr. Hunter, you have experienced so much more than me and have developed a cynicism towards the world for a good reason. Lend me some of that now, please. How can a person profess belief in a God that teaches that stealing is immoral and even numbers its among the 10 Commandments, hallowed rules that have stood for centuries, but proceed to take movies - the hard work of another - without paying and feel no guilt? How can that very same person turn to me and tell me that my disbelief in God is misguided? How can a person express a belief in the LDS faith but ignore rules and commandments concerning the consumption of alcohol or the wearing of garments? How can a person profess love for his spouse and then with premeditation cheat on them? I just don't understand it. I know that I am no where near perfect.

The other day, a friend so dear to me spoke in jest and lashed out words of such a cutting nature concerning my heart that I could not help but lower my defenses and accept the piercing remark. It was an insight into how he viewed me, a hypocrite, and at once I realized the vulnerability of my heart. What I saw made me want to get up, apologize, and walk away. I feel like a stranger sometimes and feel as though I do more harm than good to others. To him, I write this, I apologize for being a hypocrite in the past and promise to do all in my power to avoid such a classification now.

This is a letter that wearies my very soul as it is a confession of the darkness within and the darkness I see around me. There are times that I hate this place, Mr. Hunter. I hate it with so great a passion that it breaks me heart with sorrow. I see beneath the facade of blank and vapid shallowness too many lives living hypocrisies or depression or emptiness. I feel like this place attempts to turn me into a dog; some pathetic creature meant to scrounge around in the rubbish and filth in search of meaning and purpose. I feel as though I am encouraged to abandon my values, morals, hopes, and dreams and accept a mantle that would crush me into oblivion, dehumanize me without the slightest acknowledgment of the crime against me that doing so would be.

I have met some out there with deep and purposeful believing that are nearly devoid of hypocrisy but those that I have met have been naive. In this last remark I must bluntly state that the poster child of this concept forever remains to my Nemesis.

Mr. Hunter, I plead with you to help me understand what I am seeing. Show me not goodness, I do not need my eyes veiled again. Show me naked reality.

Your brother

P.S. Give your wife my love as well as your two cats. I hope to see you during the holidays. Enjoy NYC for me, even if just a little.