Aim For Stars: Overview
Aim For Stars (Overview)
I’ve been asked if I plan to offer more of my background to better explain my writing, and I suppose to see what qualifies me as a credible source for such deep, and sometimes dark, topics. So I would like to offer an overview of my life story to explain where I’m coming from and why I write the way I do. First, let me clarify: I don’t choose the topics, the topics chose me! I would never have chosen the Journey which I’ve been traveling, but it was given to me and I’m here nonetheless- so I have no regrets. My writings which most come from the heart relate to Pain, Pride, Perseverance, and Faith- because those have defined my life thus far and are the areas in which I am an expert.
My Pain began with a life-changing, near fatal car accident and only intensified with feelings of abandonment, confusion, and forced long-suffering (see my poem “Fast Pain/ Slow Pain”). Perseverance has kept me battling through 9 draining years, while haunted by Hope Deferred (“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”- Proverbs 13:12). Well, my desire has yet to come! My Pride, at this point, is really no more than my ability to fabricate feelings of self-confidence and of self-worth, for which I have absolutely no basis. And Faith is the very wind which fills my sails- my damaged, tattered, and at times useless sails. This Faith is my life-blood, which encompasses my ever-present Hope. Hope that better days are in my near future. Hope that I may possibly even experience the fairytale legends that some call “Joy” and “Love”. (see "Queen Joy")
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.” - Mary Stevenson
But while all of this is true, my story is not one of sorrow and misery. It is a story of Grace; of Providence; of Hope in the most glorious sense; and of ENTHEOS- “God Within”!! The Grace of God breathed the will to live back into my soul (see “Goodbye, I Love You”) and carried me when my strength was gone (see “Footprints In The Sand”>). By Webster’s definition, Providence means “God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.” I’m not sure yet what Providence has in mind for my destiny, but I’m excited to find out! While my Hope has been of the “deferred” type until now, at the same time it empowers me, even today, with the promise that “…from my birth he has made mention of my name”:
The Servant of the LORD
1 Listen to me, you islands;
hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the LORD called me;
from my birth he has made mention of my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."
4 But I said, "I have labored to no purpose;
I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand,
and my reward is with my God."
5 And now the LORD says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
and my God has been my strength-
6 he says:
"It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
7 This is what the LORD says—
the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
to the servant of rulers:
"Kings will see you and rise up,
princes will see and bow down,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." - Isaiah 49
Finally, as I note in my Profile, I have come to realize that my Faith is not in some majestic, untouchable god somewhere up in the clouds. My Faith is in God, the Holy Spirit which resides within me, strengthens me, and makes ALL things possible. Therefore, I am ENTHEOS (in Greek meaning “having the gods within”), “God Within”, and as for me, I’ll AIM FOR STARS! (see “AM4STRZ”)
I will summarize my story in 3 parts- each of which I either am writing, or plan to write, as a separate book. These books are not about me, the “amazing Daniel A***”; they are about the lessons learned and the experiences I’ve had. I feel that the ‘Blessing’ of my experiences will have a profound impact on many lives as my writings relate to struggles that many of us face- albeit, to an exaggerated degree. Humans, in general, want to feel happy and have their spirits lifted- so many times we are forced to internalize our true emotions and end up fighting our battles (seemingly) all alone…“No one knows, how could they care?” Well I know, because I have felt scared and totally alone through some unbelievably trying times. I was absolutely certain that my problems were so unique that NO ONE could relate. So, now I plan to “speak of things that are better left unmentioned”, and “explore topics which are better left untouched.” In doing so, I think that there will be many who feel a sense of relief, knowing that someone has faced similar trials to their own, and has come through alive and well.
The 1st portion of my life story, which I have entitled “Depth Perception,” tells the background of my excellent, but sheltered, upbringing and the charmed, exciting life that I lived as a young man. “Depth Perception” is the most thrilling and devastating part of my story- the “Fast Pain.” Here is a brief, and by no means all encompassing, foreshadowing of this 1st part: sheltered country boy; wild party animal; undiagnosed narcolepsy; devastating near-fatal car crash; massive closed head injury; defiance of somber medical prognosis; mania; homicidal; suicidal; psych hospital; face to face with a demon; bipolar; terrible process of reinventing self while severely brain damaged; militaristic Faith; etc. And that’s just the first book!
The 2nd step of my voyage is entitled “Standing Still.” This is a play-on-words, as it means both: “Life struck, but couldn’t steal my star- and I’m Standing Still”; and also, “I’m paralyzed, Standing Still, as the world moves on without me”. This is a story of frustration; a story of……nothing. As in feeling paralyzed, in a state which is entirely unacceptable since I know what it is that I’m missing and what I’ve lost. This is the “Slow Pain” portion of my story- one which I pray is ending today as soon as I write this.
The 3rd Book of my trilogy may actually be the most fun to write, as it hasn’t happened yet and I can let my imagination run wild. As in “Lord of the Rings”, I will call this section “Return of the King.” I don’t even know what my plans are yet for my book or what dreams I will be willing to reveal in this post, but that’s half the fun!
*So, until next time…….