Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Shopping in Shanghai

Here it is, a new year and I am 1000's of miles from friends and family. They say that one of the languages of love is the giving of gifts so I am about to embark on another shopping trip downtown. The last time I was there was with my interpreter to buy a gift for a very good friend of mine. This time it will be an attempt to find something for my 2 1/2 year old boy. I was reminded a day or two ago of something that I had said to my wife as we discussed the imminent arrival of Christmas shopping. When I pondered upon the mayhem I came to the conclusion that part of the reason there is so much stress involved in Christmas shopping for so many of us is that the process forces us to really think about someone else. Unless we take the easy way out we will be faced with truly reflecting upon the person with good intent in our hearts. This is a process of getting out of ourselves and the tiny world of our own minds. This is a process of discovering another human being, and hopefully seeing them rather than seeing through them. This shopping trip is to be a time of reflecting on my son, and, I trust, becoming a little better dad.
If you are reading this Cris, I love you and please kiss the kids for me. I will see you soon. Brad-Daddy

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Been Awhile!!

Yes, for any and all who have wandered over to this site it has been awile since I have entered anything, but as always I have a good reason. I am in freakin' China!!!! Shanghai to be exact, and Gubei New Area to be more precise. I have been here for a grand total of two weeks and I have two weeks left before I head home to bring the family here. Some may say that it is work that brought me here, for indeed I am working here, but we all know better don't we?? When we prayed about this decision (not exactly like choosing which pizza joint to go to), we heard a voice with a familiar capital 'p' paternal tone say," I am going to China, would you like to come along?" What followed was a stunned silence on our end while we picked ourselves up off the floor and convened to converse on this response. Since it is not easy to talk with your lower mandible scraping the lint off the carpet (easier done with a goatee) our conference made little linguistic sense and we knew it was simply a stalling tactic anyway. Long and short has me in a very new situation; very very new. For those who are taking a break from the sanitized Hollywood of Sunday morning I am sure you will have some grip on this.
Our collective Daddy instructed me to leave my handheld holy writ at home and test out the true mettle of my sword. One month being fed by ravens in a strange land. One month with only the mouth of the Father to speak to me. One month with not a believer in sight. One month.
He may be safe, but He will never be tame.
Oh yeah, by the way, Dad's trip to China is a business trip and it is not just with me. I wonder what it says on His visa.
Tsechen for now.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Why am I so surprised???

I am constantly surprised by my ability to forget things. You know what I mean, right? You look into a mirror, even a perfect mirror and then walk away and forget. When I look into this mirror I not only see myself the way I truly am, I also see the truth the way it truly is. I just spent some time in an old familiar place and was truly surprised that my faith was beginning to show some serious cracks. As much as I pondered over this dilemma I could find no answers (No, of course I didn't go back to the mirror, whadda ya think I!!??). It wasn't until I had left the place and driven for some time that I realized that there was a spiritual dominion that I had entered and in not addressing it as such I got the shit kicked out of me more everyday that was there. I am not sure what keeps me from remembering the fact that I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but this is something that I really need to rectify. It has become more apparent that I need to be constantly aware of what is going on around me and address it accordingly. True, sometimes it may be as simple as offering someone some peace, but at other times I will need to stick it directly to Mephistopheles and his cronies. Of course being more than a conquerer I will kick butt, but until then I will live under the thumb of circumstances.
There is only one spirit that is Holy, but there is not only one spirit.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I did promise some poetry

There hasn't been a lot of time for writing lately, seeing how we are preparing to leave for China very soon. I have had the odd moment, though, to go through some of my older stuff and reappreciate and revise. I will throw some of this your way and see what you think.

My Faith
Faith awoke this morning
Lying languidly in my bed
Stretching up, around and out
Rising fluidly to her day
I followed her with a glance
This my pure bride
Faith, the one flesh so joined
Beyond mere poetic approximations
Pain upon pain in her grief is mine
Joys equally so, rushing
Across both as stones
In the bed of one summer stream

Faith from birth, faith my guide
Faith my mute muse
Faith my coin in these streets
Faith I have sold
Faith my whore
She begs with her eyes
Searching the blindness of mine
While I palm the drug
While I dance in a trance
While I embrace wanton flesh
While I place my mind
Upon throne and dais
While I heap high fortunes
Faith begs no more

Faith yearns upon my eyes
To search the skies
To note their endless prose
Faith yearns upon my skin
To know the earth’s touch
To feel her pains of labour
Faith yearns upon my ears
To hear the applause of leaves
In the passing breeze
Faith yearns upon my heart
In the streets where I sell her
Faith yearns upon my heart
In the halls where her beauty
Buys me praise
Faith yearns upon my heart
In the passing of my life
Faith yearns
To know the touch
Of a little spittle
And some moist clay.

(Brad Koop)

Vile Ends

Where is my life's rhythm
When I smash the dash and send another fissure
Winding away from fingers and toes
Holding back
The dammed thoughts?
Where does it go?
It was so good when I knew the tune
Now the ink runs as I watch
Try to remember even the words
Even just the name.
Bars fall from other lips
As they stroll,
But hey, does anyone know
The measure of this man?

(Brad Koop Jan '00)

Saturday, November 29, 2003


There is a shameless use of what is probably a copywrited trademark, of course it could also be construed as a plug. Yeah, plug sounds good. Anyway I have come here to blog once again and there is quite possibly nothing new or profound in my thoughts. This is actually a point of fact; there is nothing new that I can say. There is no new emotion that I can reach out and touch. There is no truly new way of sating what has all been said a million times before. Said so many times that even all the books and blogs and songs we have could not count for the mass of media and spoken word that has already turned to the dust that is constantly accumulating on everything that sits still.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Staying sane

It is hard to assess the effect daily life has on us, on our awareness of ourselves. It would seem that in all the bustle it becomes easier to lose sight of who we are. The demands placed upon us every day cause us to respond, just as any living being will to its own particular eviromental stimuli. Our only problem here is that being rational creatures we are also capable of shapeshifting according to the present stimulus. We change throughout our days and weeks until there is a faint feeling inside that we have become like notepaper too oft revised. On the other hand there is nothing like honesty and hardship to dig down to our core. I have been severely ill the last few days and have discovered that even though the sickness sucks I can actually say that I like myself in this place. At least better than I have before. I can only hope that this will be worth retaining when I return to the 'everyday'. I can only hope that I will remember to like myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

I Heard Daddy Today

It is not always gentle, but like a cool rush of air it is always sweet. Daddy's voice takes all the forms of nature, from the rain I hear falling outside my window right now to the lion's roar in the black night of the serengetti. There is a fear I feel when He speaks, there is the falling. There is, though; always, the catching of my breath as I rest in His arms, for His voice always leads me there. It is here that I know that to hear, is to fear, is to love. Always love. This I would choose this over all the treasures I know, and I know that truly this is the fear I feel.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Just a Walk

I met a man just the other day and with a puzzling playfulness he asked me to follow him for he had something wonderful to show me. Though a busy thought attempted to sideswipe me a casual shrug is all it took to turn from my daily pursuits and walk his way. We started down my street and many more like it slipping past the crowds, cars, and caos. I noticed that not one eye noticed the passing of my odd companion and I, and this seemed strange for I had never reflected on this abstraction of distraction before. We trundled across a beach and while my quiet friend slowed his pace to watch the wet sand ooze between his toes I took note that here too no one took note of us. At the end of the beach we came upon a wooded trail leading off away from the shoreline so here too I followed him. As the sound of the waves resceded into the rustling leaves I felt a new and peculiar sense of prescence all about me. It was eyes. I was being watched, we were being watched. Creatures paused on every side as we passed through their 'hood, to look, to see, to know. The oblivious shield of passivity had given way to raw awareness. I was being searched. My intentions would be known. This jarring realisation set my eyes upon the man now silently setting his eyes on me. "You have spoken no good or ill since we left my home," I said, "will you now show me what it is I came to see, for your silence here is troubling me?" The playfullness never left his penetrating gaze as he looked into me and said,"You have followed me to see a wonder, but I wonder, what you have seen?"

The Pinnacle Below???

As I was sifting through the heaps of sites and names trying to find a blogger directory and a blog to visit I was posed a question. Why is it that when we try to express the highest heights of our freedoms it always takes us to the lowest lows? Why is depravity standing at the door when we open it to take a look outside, and what he hiding behind him? I guess what I would really like to know is why do we continue to do things that never work to try to achieve peace we have never known?

Friday, November 14, 2003

Experiencing writer's blog

Were I to Blog what would I do? To touch another mind in the sanctity of secrecy is a curious wonder. Far more than a glance across a street ending in only assumption and guesswork. Here I reach out to touch a pool in a dark cave.

Know Fear

I know no greater fear

A flashlight is all it took
To break the will of my flesh
It spilled the raw truth
In the luminous red glow
Between my fingers

I am a story of blood,
Opaque flesh, obscuring bone
Yet I have met a man
With no hands
And so much to tell

I know no greater fear

My eyes peer from caves,
Tethered lest they fall
Lest they fail
To tell my ears
What they are hearing

I am a story told
Through sights and sounds
Yet I have seen a woman
Deaf and blind
And so much to tell

I know no greater fear

I have seen injustices
And shed no tears
I have felt a hand
Touch my brow
I have felt the cold

Am I a story
Of spirit written on flesh
Yet I see a man
Reflected back to me
With nothing to say

I know no greater fear

(Brad Koop April 2001)