Typewriter Series #419 by Tyler Knott Gregson
Text for Tired Eyes:
At this exact instant on this exact planet
there are more people than you, or I, or anyone else
would ever care to admit, that are buried beneath
the weight of wasted time.
The shoulds and supposed tos and becauses and jobs
and money and requirements and responsibilities
add up and pile up and entomb us.
How many miles separate how many people
from the lives they should be leading,
the people they should be loving and the moments
they will never get back?
The justification of this frustration
paints a glossy veneer of happiness over the rust
of the truth hiding below it.
It’s the realization of our encapsulation
that cracks the paint and lets the color fade.
When do we forget the value of what we hold
and when do we forget to care about the burying
we submit ourselves to?
Somewhere a much younger version of ourselves is staring into the future
raising tiny fists, clenched into the air
and screaming a wordless warning that falls on
deaf ears that age has stolen sound from.
We see ourselves and we see the meaning we’ve assigned
to meaningless things;
we see the imagination running off the pages we painted,
watercolors evaporating and leaving behind only blank
canvas, only dry brushes.
Hasn’t the time come to stop this, to put water
to the burning of our futures by the flames of our
past restrictions? Has not the time arrived to
mix the color in the water and dip the brush,
dried an atrophied and lonely from the waiting it too
Live life like you love to live and make that life
the one you’ve been waiting for.
At this exact instant you and only you
can rise from the layers of wasted time,
drive your hand through the sediment and
feel the sunlight on your fingers.
“I read that with every broken heart we should become more adventurous” - Rilo Kiley
I should not be out with a group of people daydreaming about curling up with a mug of tea and whichever book I’m reading at the time. It’s a year now into trying to connect to the city. And honestly, I’m through with adventure, or at least adventuring by myself. I hear the bitterness and rejection in my own voice yet still can’t figure out how to bring it back to good, I’m tentative, yet exhausted from being on the sidelines. The city is so transient and everyone is so “busy” doing “important” things. It feels like networking as opposed to connecting. Obligation-wise, I can easily uproot myself. Why do I want it to work here? For as much as I need solitude, I need sounding boards too. They preach to “be still” - speak on how much they love the action in DC - but I am not one of the busy ones. Who will preach to me?
The same things I love about DC are some of the same things that frustrate me - such great potential. And if I had to contrast DC with my 2nd favorite place I see one full of artists and family, the other full of activists and movement, and in between I’m jealous of both of these expressions of passion. I am not an artist, nor an activist. I’ve paralyzed myself as an outsider, with hopes the proximity of both of these people will urge me on. I’ve been praying for passion - something to tangibly fight for - a cause - a dream, since I started praying in the first place. I don’t have it yet and I feel like a hypocrite to get behind something in my own strength. My heart cannot tolerate the evils I hear about, but apart from marching around my neighborhood in a fit of raging prayer, hearing is the closest I’ll get to this violence, this disease, this injustice, this despair. I lose sleep over all it - I wake up with my heart racing or crying or a thousand thoughts I can’t reign in.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 NIV)
Most of the emails are boring, but occasionally there’s one that makes me look twice:
“I think… I think that if I were a book, I’d be a bulky hardcover who’s publisher never bothered with the flashy dust-jacket. I’d be quarter-bound- of soft blue and brown linen, with a shiny silver gilded title- just a tiny touch of elegance here and there. I’d be that unassuming tome in the corner, patient and polite with all those who’s hands merely skim over me on the shelf. For those who open the book and dive in (because after all, a hardcover without a dust-jacket lacks an easily accessible synopsis), they find themselves drawn into a story absolutely overflowing with footnotes and parenthesis and made up words and italics.
They’ll find tales that will remind them of Orwell’s time in Paris, poorly written poems, romantic tales of prancing steeds and courageous dogs, and all sorts of things that incite raucous laughter. My book would tell tales of life in a large family, of sun-riped blueberries still on the bush, of the sorts of trouble a young lady can find herself in in small-town america, of the smell of baking bread, and of the the things one’s capable of when one realizes you can make a difference in this world. It would be profane. It would be heart-wrenching. It would be filled with words of encouragement and self-deprecation and revelations about life and death.
The corners of my binding would be smashed from being dropped. As you turn the pages, you’ll come across pressed flowers and pretty leaves tucked away to save for a rainy day. The flowers will have stained the surrounding pages, their color bleeding out into the paper. There are all sorts of notations- underlined, circled, occasionally with comments scribbled in the margins, but more often than not, there’s little to no explanation, because either there’s no need to explain or no way to explain.”
San Francisco, CA
“How tempting it has been to settle once and for all in one place where roots might grip soil for longer than a season and I might learn the patterns of shadow and light across floor beams and children’s faces…But home is a moveable feast and, perhaps, I should think of everywhere as the place that I might stay forever To imagine that everywhere my feet trod is holy ground”
Let your truth be on my lips, openly poured out of my veins, taken in with every breath. Let us expect you to move and to transform. Let us have compassion on our children and remember you aren’t finished yet. When I feel trapped, let it be in your grace. When I am discouraged, let me better know your Son. When I am angry, let me be just. When I turn away, let me come back to strengthen my brothers, my family. Let us always respond first with joy and gratitude.
Help us to see you, to even see where you just were if it’s the best we can do. Let us notice you, praise you, turn to you. Let us live by the eternity you’ve placed in our hearts. Let us be conscious of the consequences. Let us fear you above all else. Let your truth sink into our souls and make it impossible for us to deny you. Let us long to serve you. above all, let us rest in your presence, your love, your righteousness, your compassion. And in that space, help us to desire you. Deliver us from any evil in our hearts and in this world.