“Everything will work out.”
Is that so.
I’m sitting in my bedroom, putting some finishing touches on a few different pieces I’ve been writing, and the advice of others is rattling in my brain like a loose screw in a metal box.
“God has the perfect person for you.”
“One day, you’ll look back on this and be grateful.”
“Just give it time.”
I’ve noticed this trait lately, in myself and others: when other words fail, we do ourselves and God a disservice by taking on his role of divine healer, offering nice-sounding promises that he never made.
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Posted by tylerhuckabee on June 16, 2013
We were driving down I-29 and Erin was explaining to me why she didn’t consider herself a Christian anymore.
“It’s the whole ‘it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship’ thing.” she said. “I just couldn’t take it anymore.”
Some background about Erin. She was one of those youth group girls. Youth pastors love them—they’re a sign that they’re doing something right. She went on mission trips. Led Bible Studies. Summer camp counselor. Christian fish tattoo. You know the type. Maybe you are the type. Anyhow.
I was confused. “The relationship bit is a pretty big selling point for Christianity,” and I couldn’t have put that worse. Read the full post »
Posted by tylerhuckabee on June 10, 2013
Most scientists are convinced that exactly four species in the animal kingdom have the ability to feel happiness: elephants, primates, dolphins and, of course, us. The debate around the rest of the animal kingdom and their own capacity for emotion is a hot one, but the case is closed on those four.
* * *
A good friend told me once that he had a wicked heart. “If you only knew,” he said, holding his thumb and forefinger scarcely an inch apart, “how miserable and small and black my heart was…” and he trailed off, unable to finish. There were tears in his eyes and he said it, his voice cracking. We were at a church. This sort of confession was something that had been pried from him by our pastor. It’s what we were all supposed to be doing; acknowledging our own wickedness in front of each other. It would, we were told, be a release. “I’m so miserable!” my friend said. “So miserable!”
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Posted by tylerhuckabee on May 5, 2013
Last week I locked my keys in my house. A stupid mistake. I was listening to the White Stripes, stepped outside for a moment, twisted the lock on my door out of habit and knew themoment I shut the door that I was supremely screwed. My keys were in plain sight through the window, behind my reflection, which seemed to be rolling its eyes at me. There was very nearly nothing to be done. I tried every window. I toyed with the lock. I racked my brain. I Googled “What to do when you lock your keys in your apartment,” and while I was not expecting a spell that would unlock my door, I was surprised at how much advice it turned up, and how utterly worthless it all was. “Pretend you’re a thief. How would you break into your house?” Read the full post »
Posted by tylerhuckabee on April 30, 2013
When I eighteen years old, I was settling a hotel bill with an old man with a Russian accent as thick and rich as whiskey. “I married young,” he told me, suddenly. “And we were very poor.”
He didn’t look at me as he said this, but as there was no one else there, I stayed to listen. “We worked very hard during the week, but on the weekends.” Here he looked at me, a delighted smile on his face. “On the weekends, we danced. And now you are young, so work hard during the week. And on the weekends, dance.”
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Posted by tylerhuckabee on April 21, 2013
The boy’s mother has given up use of the comb altogether and is pressing his hair against his skull with the flat of her palm. Wet as it is, little black spikes continue to explode from his crown, making their presence known at chaotic angles from the rest of the angular slick
“Stubborn,” she murmurs. The guests are arriving soon. In her mind flicker nightmarish images of what is surely happening in the kitchen at this moment: the cake is caving, the soup is scalding, the cat is rinsing its paws in the pudding. And here she is, unable to manage a few obscene tufts. Read the full post »
Posted by tylerhuckabee on April 10, 2013
Convention has it that church is boring, and that is, in my experience, very true. There is a story about how Thoreau, shackled by duty, was sitting at a Christmas church service one fine, flurried Sunday morning. The sermon was droning on in the way of sermons (I suspect little has changed since 1775) and Thoreau’s naturalist heart drove his attention out the window, to where snow was falling in the eastern brightness of dawn. There was something in the snowflakes, some serene transcendence they set on him, that struck him as far lovelier and more captivating than the Christmas sermon. And so he took his leave of that church, never to return to it or any other.
Such is the prerogative of a transcendentalist, but I do wonder whether his life on Walden Pond was so much more thrilling than any given Sunday morning at church. I understand the aesthetic appeal of his adventures—who doesn’t—but be your Sunday morning sanctuary an auditorium or an autumn wood, I expect it’s stupendously dull, pockmarked with brief moments of beauty that will break your heart.
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Posted by tylerhuckabee on March 6, 2013
I chew a cigarette outside while waiting for water to a boil in a blue pot on an electric stove. Squirrels and robins surround in jittery flits that make me feel like a cartoon princess. Traffic hums by in street quaking fashion, and old men whistle at pretty girls crossing the street. It’s morning. Lick the dew off my chin. Feel the clothes against my arms. Rub the back of my hand against my face. Morning. Sunlight drips to the earth and collects in pools at my feet. I toe it, lap it up, paint stripes of it under my eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will hoist it up, fly it from a branch, be glad in it. Witness the world.
Color! I have a friend named Dylan who once asked me once if I thought we would ever be able to create new colors. I told him that I didn’t think that was really a color question as much as an eye question. “Then,” he asked, “Will we ever be able to create new eyes?” Read the full post »
Posted by tylerhuckabee on February 19, 2013
I am so tired of hearing about the true meaning of Christmas.
These somber homilies that always begin the same way: “he was brought into this world as a babe.” “God became a tiny baby in a stinking manger.” Something about Emmanuel. Something about God being us. Something, something, something. They’ve worn me out.
I’ve heard them all my life now: pulpit reminders of the Christmas miracle. Pastors shackled to the weighty annual burden of reminding their congregations of the extent of the mystery. The incarnation. And these seasonal injunctions have somehow become unbearable. I find myself annoyed. Like how I feel when a parent forgets they’ve told this joke before. I feel the urge to stand up in the middle of church and scream “I know! I know the whole thing!” Mary (how obedient! How wise beyond her years!”) Joseph (“How trusting!”) The innkeeper. The shepherds. The star. The Magi. The little town. The baby God. I have searched for some unexplored nuance to the tale. A fresh angle that would stun me into quiet contemplation.
I’ve got nothing. Read the full post »
Posted by tylerhuckabee on December 9, 2012
(Note: Not for the squeamish, this one.)
In 2006, Germany played host to the particularly strange and morbid case of Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer technician who had suffered an unhappy childhood with a cruel father and a domineering mother. A gawky, angular man with an Eastwood squint and robust dimples, Meiwes waited until both of his parents had departed this world for the next before posting a message on a website expressing that he was “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.”
It is a point of fascination that Meiwes found his volunteer, a particularly disturbed and stout-hearted individual whose name has never been revealed. The two met at Meiwes’ house (in a room he had dubbed “The Slaughter Room” and designed for this very purpose) and commenced to lobbing off chunks of the volunteer’s person. The man lay bleeding in the bathtub while Meiwes sauteed his flesh with salt, pepper, wine and garlic, and read a Star Trek novel. Meiwes then came to the bathroom, chatted with the man for a bit and, once it was obvious he would not survive much longer, split his throat and hung him from a meathook in a freezer, from where he tore off, cooked and ate 44 pounds of him over the next 10 months.
An web surfer alerted authorities to Meiwes after stumbling across the original posting (one shudders to think what grim business led the tattler to that message.) Authorities took Meiwes to jail, and the press went berserk. What sort of monster was this man, who fit the bill of our favorite serial killers so readily? Quiet. Polite. Well-adjusted, even. An easy smile. They dubbed him Der Metzgermeiste—”The Master Butcher.”
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Posted by tylerhuckabee on September 2, 2012