[glooming] To: Lucas Rysdin

Dear Luc,

It’s been entirely too long since I have written something like this, but I thought that I had gotten past writing to a dead man (but you were always right in the end, weren’t you?). I thought that I wouldn’t need this again… but I wanted to tell you that I missed you.

And if there was ever a time that I needed you to just climb through a window, take a look me in this state and ask ‘Pound of Flesh or a Pound of Cake?’, it’s now, love. I want you to lay out the knives and go into that long story of what each one does (‘smooth to slice, teeth for bone…). I want to sit on that hard floor and cry and punch and rage. And when I was exhausted and hoarse, I want you to ask again…Flesh or Cake? (now I’m missing Hough Bakery and Farka’s too…)

Not that I could make that choice nowadays… I have returned to my Love (so no violence here…I know), and I have celiac (I can’t have wheat… I know, I KNOW!!). I think more than anything else, right now, I miss the security of having you in my corner, knowing that you bent the world to my will and laid waste those who hurt me. There have been those who healed, those who listened, those who have advised, but none who have fought. You were a fighter. I need that right now. I need it so badly.

Nights like tonight, I remember when it was nothing for you to grab someone by the collar and yell “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, SEE WHAT YOU DID?” It was nothing for you to just let me have it when I was off the mark (then cake because I was feeling like shitte because I knew you were right and it was my fault).
You never lied to me. You never wanted anything more than to be a friend to me. You could be a dick, but that was fine because you were fair and kind. You never put up with my shitte, but you were never cruel.

It was so very difficult being a friend to you, but it was so very worth it.

Luc, I gave up the armor and I have never felt weaker in my life. I made the mistake of trusting again and I paid for it. And now I am hearing the same old thing (be patient, be the better person, do the right thing), and see them get away with it yet again because there are no fighters, only sad and guilty looks when I pass. I’m tired from hurting, too old to rage, and My Love has removed any desire for blood. I have come full circle back into the darkness.
It was my fault. I thought that I could find another you, another bright light that would light the path until I saw His love and glory again. I thought I needed that. I didn’t, but I wanted it because being with you was the last time I felt truly protected. But even you said that you wouldn’t fit in the life I was fated to have.

And, all in all, it is very good and you wouldn’t have fit into it at all. But it would have been so comforting to know that I was a phone call away from rattling cages and sabers, sitting next to the guy that would have stomped a mudhole in someone caused me to shed a tear, sharing a cake.

I miss you, love. Thanks for always fighting for me.

The Dark Girl observes the Sunset Limited.


By the time I got home from Hill House at about 11pm, I was physically drained (due to fact that they served tiramisu and I just can’t resist- which does not mix with having celiac and pre-sugar) and emotionally drained (for reasons I will detail in a moment). Bill came in from teaching minutes later to find me looking blankly at a blank Word document, trying to record my feelings about the evening and coming up blank.


He greets me and gives me a peck on the head; gets a Mt Dew from the fridge and goes in the room to change. He comes back out, fired the PS3, loaded Skyrim and saw me still looking at the screen.


“How was the movie?”


“It was good. Just like the play… but you can’t go wrong with Tommy Lee Jones and Sam L. Jackson.”


“Then what’s wrong? Someone say something? Don’t get me wrong; you don’t look mad. I can’t tell what it is…”


“Bored. I’m bored – I was bored.”


“I’m glad I wasn’t there,” he ran back laughing so I couldn’t pop him. He dropped into the chair and started playing and I went back to my blank page.


About 10 minutes later, he turned to me as the Skyrim patch (finally!) was installing and found that there were no words on the page. He waved me over and met me on the couch. I even let him tug at my gauges.


“What happened?” (tug, tug)


“I was asked where you were again.” (tug, tug)

“Did you tell them I was working and not generally inclined to sit and talk a movie I don’t care about to people I don’t know?” (light elbow jab to the ribs)

“Yes… but that never keeps folks from asking. I just get sad looks. But you do have an invite if you wanna come.”

“That’s okay. So what’s wrong?”


I stopped there… mainly because I didn’t know. It wasn’t as if I was offended; I was treated with the height of hospitality. There was a bit of uneasiness, but few folks have a frame of reference for a returning, single-in-the-faith, black amazon that has a small voice, likes to debate, hates to talk and will clean your kitchen. These kinds of folks just come around that often.


The conversation was great before the movie. I was put on the spot for a brief moment only because I wasn’t quite listening, but that was a small thing. The food was great with all manner of things I wasn’t supposed to eat (which didn’t stop me.one.bit).


“…and after the movie?” Bill had started the game, put his best armor on the character, sent the character into a cave to fight 5 skeletons. The Skeletons whaled at the character with all of  their God, to no avail. 30 seconds later the Heavy Armor Level up bar flashed on the screen. Bill grinned at me. He was grinding. I rolled my eyes. He muted the game and turned to me.


“Well, he asked a question and there were crickets…” I laughed. “complete and total silence. I said a bit, but I didn’t say too, too much. Enough to be just a tiny bit provocative,”


“hoping someone would jump in?”


“yeah… but not so much. Everyone was just afraid to talk.”


“Because you were “The Only Adult Black Female in The Room?” he said the last part with air quotes.


“No…” my voice was a bit too defensive. He picked that up and smiled “not at first”


I should stop here and provide a bit of context. For the last 20 years of my life, I have found that for whatever reason, whatever I am doing, I am the only adult black female in said group. There may be another one there occasionally, but when it comes to the usual suspects, it breaks down like this:


Q: 20 white folks and one black female at a party, playing games and having a blast. What do you call the black female?

A: Chrishaun


Q: 7 folks in a room playing D&D, 6 white and one black female. What do you call the black female?

A: Chrishaun


Q: 30 white folks and one black female in a room. What do you call the black female?

A: Dr. Keller-Hanna


Q: 1 white guy, 2 mixed raced girls and one black female in a room, playing Rock Band. What do you call the black female?

A: The Drum Goddess (or mom…)


You get my point. But this is the live I created and chose. And I love my life- it is badass by many definitions, especially if you knew all that I went through to get here.


I think that more than anything else, they were willing to walk in the room see the movie, feel intellectually better about themselves for seeing it, but then pussy out on getting to the real meaning of what they had just seen.


“They didn’t want to discuss the deeper things… they just wanted to appear and to be seen as smart just for showing up. So instead of having to be put on the rails once again by Greg, I just washed dished”


“So you fight being seen as the help by being the help?” I threw the cat at him. He ducked.


“No… by being a servant to the saints”


“You going back?”


“Yeah…especially if the desserts rock”


He gave me a disapproving look, took the game off mute and laughed.


“That’s not why you go”


I know.



















Just because [visual Prayer]


The thing about having so many photog friends is that I am never in the need of wonderful photographs. Every week, new snaps pop up on my Facebook feed and I find myself gazing at them (instead of writing) or once more paging through their albums (instead of grading papers).I look at the pictures people put on their walls; the silent history of the things that they cherish…


That candid shot of a father holding his child. That dog pile shot consisting of every smiling child in a 5 mile radius. The snaps taken when only the photog was looking; the one that shows the subjects true nature instead of mask they have worn for so long even they believe it’s real. Vacation shots, pet snaps, plates of food, I love the lot.


But the Holy Grail of pictures, in my opinion, is the landscape. Like the one to the below. Nature in all its fierce, wild glory


What does this have to do with prayer?


Everything. Abba puts himself in every facet of our lives. In the Bible, He describes the loving kindness and the care with which a father holds and protects his child. He provides a variety of food with tastes and texture that we either love or hate, not because we need all of these tastes to live; but it brings us enjoyment and He loves it when we luxuriate in the flavors and share that with others. He encourages gathering together, not just to worship him, but to build up and protect the spirit of Christ within us.


And then there is nature. This is where the power and majesty of God’s power is relentlessly on display. Civilizations thrive and are awed by nature.  Photogs have filled thousands of books that showcase every aspect of nature. David Attenborough has made a career that’s lasted longer than I have been alive about nature. It never gets old.


Why? Why does He do it?


Because. Just because.

'Invisible Sun' Photo by Victor Mabry

38 random, small, and quite silly things that I am thankful for this holiday season (in no particular order)

After a year of very deep and marginally depressing semi regular posts, I’m gonna lighten things up a bit. What follows are the little things in my life that bring me joy and I am glad to have in my life (in no particular order):

  1. 306 1.5ohm atomizers and drip tips
  2. Hamburger style sliced and hot and sweet pickles
  3. Medium sized woolly cats and little black kittens
  4. Adoring Hello Kitty late in the game (and driving my children crazy as a result)
  5. The ability to make my own booze (mead, wine, beer, and moonshine)
  6. The warm feeling I get when I see my husband’s car in the garage
  7. Attack hugs (given and received)
  8. the “pew-pew” sound
  9. Very small cupcakes
  10. Google Voice
  11. The joy of going barefoot… at work
  12. The company of such great artists
  13. The ability to make bread and cheese…
  14. … and jellies, jams, and fruit butters
  15. The bar height  tables and chairs at my new church
  16. …and the fact that my daughter and I can agree on a church
  17. Glass blowing
  18. That the vast majority of the men I know are HOT (and I assume that this is a fact their spouses are thankful for as well :D)
  19. Very small bowls
  20. Expedit bookshelves
  21. Ranch dressing
  22. My Snuggies (I would not have admitted that a year ago)
  23. Pillows (and the fact that I have a metric shite tonne of them)
  24. Lush
  25. Telephone Pictionary
  26. The smell of real books
  27. Gel polish
  28. Black toenail polish
  29. Tiffany blue
  30. Knowing how to juggle
  31. Hot and fresh Krispie Cream donuts
  32. That Law and Order UK has a bunch of Dr. Who cast members on it
  33. Google Doodles
  34. Rock Band sing-alongs
  35. The existence of 10 pound Hershey Bars and 1 pounds Reese’s Cups (at WalMart)
  36. Deviled eggs
  37. Glass tiles
  38. bodyartforms.com

All Saints

My therapist called it ‘walking into the den of the lion that mauled you’. I just called it scary.
I had decided to visit All Saints Presbyterian Church and I wanted to pass it by him before I went.
He face broadened in that wide gentle smile that at once puts me at ease and want to beat him with the office manager.
“Why are you scared?”
I looked at him with his smile and started to reach for Kimberly.
“you’re talking about lions and mauling and you want to know …”
“Why you are scared….”
He was still smiling as I aimed Kimberly at his kidneys.

*   *   *

In case you want to know , I was scared because I was going to a traditional Presbyterian service:
…that was a traditional Presbyterian service
…in the high ticket part of town
…and that was founded by folks that even I had heard of
and that means dressing up. Dressing up was scary enough… all I could think of was the swamp rot I was going to get from having to wear pantyhose.

I did not want to dress up for this. But I didn’t want to look like a bum either. They would know that I didn’t belong there and that I was starting over. Besides, (oh Lord, I can hear ’them’ now) “one would think that the love of God would mean that you would put a bit more effort when you can to worship right?” Right?

I didn’t know, so I just decided to spilt the difference and wear makeup and 4 inch boots. When all else fails, vent your inner amazon…

And this is why it took me so long to go to a traditional service. Because when I think about going to a traditional service, I don’t think about God, getting closer to God, what I will learn, or communion.

Instead, I go back to my days of [Cult]Church, where you had to look, act and smell the part or you were not righteous and pitied. The skirt or dress had to be sharp, the shoes and the bag had to match, the makeup was right and tight and you had to wear department store perfume (they know what that Revco shite smelled like). You wanted them to say “That is a young sister that will marry an elder!” whenever you walked by…

That isn’t what church and being a disciple is about.
I learned that from the kindness and support of folks who helped me come back. They showed me by their actions that grace is inclusive and kind, and the effort to come and be fed is much more important than the effort to look righteous.

And the folks at All Saints reinforced that. And it began at the door.

I should point out All Saints started as a UT church plant and grew into a church that is located in the high rent area of West Austin. To give you an idea, this is the area that Michael “Dude, you’re getting a” Dell and Richard “Lord British” Garriet own homes. This is where money is. And to be sure I am nowhere near where money is, so the intimidation factor was high. And I was intimidated.

I should not have been.

1) The church services are in the gym of a private school. Alternative sites always put me at ease as they remind me that God can be found anywhere. This group, at least in my mind, was more concerned with congregating together and living the life of discipleship than the size of the sanctuary. Or that it had bleachers.

2) One of pastors was at the door and was more than happy to help an ebony amazon with a very lost look on her face.

Imagine the scene: You are a 5’9”, auburn haired pastor standing in the lobby, looking around, talking to folks and then a 6’2” (yes, she is in heels, but that isn’t the point), plus sized, ebon woman with what look like bracelets hanging from her ears walks up to you, looking lost and scared.
What do you do?

Do you:
a) Ignore her and hope she finds who she is looking for, or at least the donut table.
b) Walk away and have one of the women introduce themselves
Or do you…
c) Walk up with a smile, introduce yourself, welcome her, show her where everything is, then ask her about herself as you walk her to the donut table, where you tell her what time the service starts and where to sit for the best view.

Guess which one Tim Frickenschmidt did… (pssst! …choose ‘C’!)

3) The donut/bagel table was ALL wabi sabi… I mean it was to’e up! Not everything was in its place, neat and abnormally precise. There were bagels and donuts laying around, schmear in 4 different locations, the knives was under one of the boxes and people were walking around getting what they needed and leaving the rest. They were too busy laughing, chatting, introducing themselves and inviting me to play volleyball to worry about everything being in place. It was a place of communion, the gathering together for encouragement and healing (and carbs).

4) I was immediately co-oped and adopted. They introduced themselves, ask questions about me and about how I found them, walked me in the sanctuary and offered seats next to them. I was patiently walked through the liturgy and signaled when to stand, sit and with kindness (they saw the boots and immediately showed me their Crocs) and was gleefully told that the communion wine was really wine (“knock it back (tee hee)”).

I could talk about the sermon and the music and things like that, but I knew the sermon series on Exodus was top notch; I have been following it on their website. Every church works on their worship service and the folk/blues played here was wonderful. But that was expected and could happen no matter the quality of the people there…

What matters, the reason we go and the reason that we stop going have more to do with feeling that we are welcome and wanted. The congregation is the physical representation of the arms of God. They embrace, support and guide. And I am sure, if I had asked before I came, they would have told me to wear my Crocs.

Thanks be to God.

Live Oak

When I walked into the theater, It was like walking that surreal portion of my imagination, where churches were smack in the middle of where people were. Not secular, mind you…. Not the McWord of God where you can have it your way, but the Word and the Truth where it was accessible.

Like a movie theater.

Inside, there was everything you would imagine in a modern church. The screen was there waiting for worship to start, the instruments and mikes were there for worship, and worship music was the going through the speakers getting us ready for the service. People were milling around and more than one person introduced themselves.

The worship started and I started to sing ( I should stop here to remind you that even though this was in a movie theater, it was first and foremost a Presbyterian Church. This means that if they sing at all it is very, very quiet.) I got more than a few looks, the most embarrassing one from the gal who was actually singing. I don’t believe that she was mad that I was singing in as much as she was surprised that I was singing over a whisper.

With worship over, the tithe and offering was collected, lead by a female pastor, Chesney Szaniszlo. This is big for me for a reason that I will cover at another time.

Then there was the sermon. The pocket-sized pastor, Caz Minter (swear to you that I could have walked off with him in my purse, but I would’ve had to remove the Austin Stone folks from last week first) was engaging, humorous and drew you in. The sermon, part of a series on prayer, interactive and involved among other things, putting our desires and worries into a stone and casting it into water. It was pointed out later on that this was not a typical service. It figures I would show up on play date time.

After service, I assisted in tear down and the on to Rose’s Tortilla factory for fellowship.

I enjoyed it and would return. As the second denominational church I have attended during my search, it helped me reconsider what I am thinking about them (‘run away’) and that is a good sign.

What I was going to talk about…

Back to religion. I was at the Half Price Books at 1431 and 183 when I saw the sign for a church, pointing in the general direction of the movie theater. I walked by the sign to get to the Bundt cake shop (Nothing Bundt Cakes… get it? HA!) and walked back, stopped at the sign and looked at it for a minute.
A Presbyterian Church in a movie theater? Is that even allowed? I thought that they couldn’t have music in church… what does Church, any kind of church, look in a movie theater?
I went the theater the next day at 9:30am, walked by the parents trying to get their issue to the Cars 2 matinée before they could get out of their early morning stupor, into the lobby, past the concession stand to find a very churchy table with coffee and literature just before the ticket taker.
Two well-manicured and accessorized ladies smiled and introduced themselves, asked if I was here for the movie or the service (which tickled me…. Who asks this sort of thing?), I say the service, they hand me a flyer and I walk by the ticket taker, who shoots a nervous look at who I can only assume is her boss from the reassuring nod he gave her as I walked by.
“you’re in theater 2” she says.
I thank her and round the corner and was met with the Children’s Ministry check in just outside theater 8. This well-manicured and accessorized lady smiled and asked if I was checking in.
“Nope, Just looking in… looking in at the Children’s Ministry… in a movie theater” they smile (I’m sure that have heard that before) and I make my way to the theater proper…
To be continued…

What was supposed to be here…

What was supposed to be here was my celebration on how I finally got it. After 20 years, and more than a few good stories later, I finally found my calling. And about going to a presby church inside an active movie theater (there was Optimus Prime action going on in the next theater over during worship).

But what replaces it is the realization that my time with the Tribe is over. I want to say it’s because we’ve had a good run or the conflicts that have happened, but the truth is is that I have just outgrown the entire mess. I try to get in there with the rest of the passive aggressives, but it just feels puny, too small, and childish. The denial is too rich for my blood.

And I shake my head at what people are willing to fool themselves into believing, thinking that their lives are just fine and everything is beautiful in their own way… as they march confidently off a cliff they refuse to see but are more than happy to point out to the next person.

Does that mean that I am perfect, free of flaw and blemish? *scoff*

fuck no.

I see them and acknowledge them. Some are badges, some are embarrassments, and others are work in progress. And they can’t be used against me. Exclusion can’t be used against me because there are people out there that I don’t spend nearly enough time with that I like better than you. And (this is the most disappointing and shocking) I can’t be manipulated because none of you have a fucking clue about what I want and what I’m really after…

None of you…

Even after you were told!!

Yes, after you were told what you needed to do to get me to do just about anything, y’all each ignored me and tried some tired assed tactic that got results that you didn’t expect. I stand over to the side and shake my head as the slings and arrows land limply long before reaching their targets.

What does this have to do with religion and the Church, Sean?

nothing. nothing at all. This is the 5 am ramblings of a womna that has been up all night thinking about the last couple of weeks and seeing who has been at her side, who has let her down, who she wished had the guts to do or say something (anything), and those who just need to stop (please).

or maybe it’s her passive aggressive way of not being passive aggressive. lol






38 [reload]

this is a repost of my annual birthday post. I forgot that I hadn’t put it up here…. better late than never…


This time around the planet was the year that Sique died, Chrishaun returned to teaching, back into writing and into the [real]Church.

It was the story of the prodigal child, who left the [cult]Church to find herself… and she did in the far corners of the earth. She found out what the real world was like. The world that the [cult]Church told her was ‘worldly’ and would ‘spoil useful habits’ and built a life, family, and career that pleased her in so many ways.

But she also found out that she was in love… not with the red haired, brown eyed boy who saved her life even though she couldn’t save his (she would go on to try to build others in his image, but that is another story)… but with God. She remembered what it felt like to have full trust in him, to love her God boldly, and to live fearlessly for his name sake.

Unlike the lad in the bible story who ran out of money and wanted to eat the pig’s food, this prodigal child did not go back because she was in the dumps… she went back because she had survived slander, betrayal and isolation; the poison that made her stronger, wiser, and was loved more than she had been in many, many years.  And she wanted to share that feeling with someone….

…someone that had truly known how far she has come and the pain she had to go through to get there. So she prayed.

And she heard the call.

And she ran as far away as she could. And broke her nose in the process.

So upset and with a Hello Kitty bandage on her nose, she went to search for Him again and found that the path was lit with the bright lights and the loud music that was Celebration. There she reconnected with Him and found that He still loved her too. He mightily showed that He heard her prays for vindication and answered. She rededicated herself to Him and He held a feast for her…

in a place called Immanuel.

In this place she found others like her, others that wanted a truthful and transparent way of living. And she was fed and found for the first time followers of Christ just like her. And she was happy.

During this time she was guided to others whose kindness, long suffering, and patience put her to shame, but gave her a model with which to shape herself.

She found geeks that was full in their geekdom and in Christ, something the [cult]Church told her was impossible.

The feast time was glorious, and when the time came to part ways, she witnessed a group that humbly walked in the direction that the Spirit was leading them. It could have easily dissolved into defiance and bitterness. There could have been foot-stamping and shaking fists. What there was instead were tears…

(for every change is difficult)

And statements of uncertainty…  

(for very few like the unknown, especially when there is everything to lose)

And solid faith and conviction. There was a fog thick with questions and precious few answers, but arm in arm they moved ahead and wished her well as she went her own way.

To the Hill.

Not the one in Georgetown (snicker), but a small community church that felt like Immanuel and had video…

(she … likes video…)

A community within her community, she waits for the next step…

And through all of this she saw new life in her old Tribe, and through her connection to the [real]Church, found more and more reasons to be thankful that they gave her the honor of calling her friend.


Something else happened.

She saw him again. Which was impossible, because she saw him die. She saw her red head boy, the one who loved her even though she was broken all those years ago. She saw the one that taught her that there was a love that was separate from sex, marriage, and games. It was the love born of kindness, truth, mercy, and forgiveness.

The man she actually saw was a stranger, but the memories were real and she realized how much she missed him and how she had over the years tried to find that same love again. She had angered and got angry at more than one man because they were not him.

But it made sense… to her, he was a god[small g]. A benchmark that could not be reached because the girl she was all those years ago has become a woman and the things that she needed then

(to be loved, to be whole, to know the happiness of kinship)

she already had. Seeing him told her that it was time to return to her True Love and that it was time for her to say good bye to him forever.

She saw that and she fought and she cried but she finally…. finally did.

And as hard as that was, what came next was worse and better.

Sitting with her friends, she turned and saw her.

And everything in her wanted to weep.

She was scolded and told to keep it together, and she couldn’t form the words that explained what she saw and what that meant.

That while she and her friends were talking about signs and omens, an omen sat right beside her.

Her Grande. The eternal sign of strength and boldness. The place where she drew her strength when all went cold and dark was there to say her goodbyes and to tell her that the days of using her crutches were over. That the days of drawing her strength from dead gods[small g’s] were over. The days of hiding behind masks and leaning on crutches were over.

Actually, the one mask and the one crutch.


“Sique is this… Sique is that… Sique just may well, you know how she is…” Yeah, Sique is a lot of things… and she was engineered that way.

To take the punches, to show a brave and cocky face, to be the eternal fairy godmother and the walking utility belt. Tough, bold, strong, bat shit crazy, and smart, she was everything I needed to face the world day after day.

And when Sique saw Grande, she does what Sique does.

She went for a smoke, but she never came back.

Chrishaun sat down at that chair and when I looked over and saw that woman who I swore a moment ago was my grandmother, I did what I do in situations like that.


Or tried to. Tracye looked over and started immediately:

“don’t do it…don’t you do it…. I know that melancholy look….”

Good God, if only.

That wasn’t melancholy, that was fear…

Because the big, Bad SCAARY world is, well big, bad, scary. And that cock sure, brassy and sassy gal has given way to goofy, awkward, and quiet woman. I tried to fight, to keep the Sique persona going and found it heavy and uninteresting.

Yeah, I said it…

So… I said that to say this….

My name is Chrishaun and I don’t have a clue…and I’m okay with that.

God with us, Part 2: Needing what I found…

So… Immanuel…. Yes….

If there was a polar opposite to Celebration, this is it.

Small, casual, home-based.

No glitz… no glam. No sermon series, no twitter feeds [yet]. 

Elegant in its simplicity and modesty.

Immanuel is, in essence, a room of imperfect people talking about their struggle as they with Christ. Compared with megachurches, this would be considered a small group.

Small. Small and profound. Small and absolutely frightening. Small and challenging. Small and healing.

I went and participated. I found myself pulling over on the way home and bawling on the side of the road.

I had found my place. I had found my home.

For the first time ever-hear me, ev-ah- I was worshipping with people who were exactly like me.

There is no way to just sit back and be passive. The group is too small. You know everyone there. You talk during the meal, you meditate during the scripture, and you open your soul so wide during discussion that folk can see the meal moving through your intestines.

There is no way to pretend to be to righteous there. Piety rings false there. Truth is honored and weakness is respected. Tears are common and soothing.

What… took me so long finding this? The only thing I can guess was that I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready yet for the emotions to come to the surface, let alone come out of my mouth.

But there was also the fear of losing this beautiful blessing that I have in Immanuel. But the fear of loss has surrounded me ever since I have seriously thought about settling down and building a solid, rooted life here in Austin.

I have the fear that if you really knew who I was, you would not really want to be around me. I fear that the darkness and the evil I have seen and have experienced in my life is too much for people to take. I fear that my need to have truth and to live truthfully will scare those who shield themselves with the lies that they use to carefully build their world. I fear that being a comfort to those who have seen their own flavor of evil will pull me back into my personal abyss.

But with all of that being said and no matter what else is said, there is a truth that I cannot deny.

I. Belong. Here.

And that pleases me.