>Meanwhile, in Tornado Alley

>A moment stolen away from the world of critical analysis and rhetoric and close readings of texts and parsing out of complex ideas to breathe.

A feeble attempt to clear my mind turns out to yield only this incessant buzzing sensation behind my eyes, a byproduct of my overclocked brain and indulgent amounts of caffeine which keeps the shakes at bay. "I can't, I have stuff due tomorrow," a boy next to me says into his phone. I chuckle, he must be a freshman. Pretty soon that tomorrow turns to today and eventually he'll be sitting where I am saying "I can't, I have stuff due yesterday."

There is no trace of order here, in the tornado of Hamilton Barber's mind. No time for it.

It doesn't help that these big questions keep popping up here and there, through the tumultuous tossings of the sea underneath what's left of a rickety boat fashioned out of the remaining strands of my sanity. They don't have many words, as is characteristic of most important things, in fact, sometimes they come in the form of images. A man with a pipe holding a leather-bound book tinted slightly orange from the setting sun, his socked feet propped up on the railing in front of him, a slight breeze tousling his wafty hair, clumpy from having his weathered hands running through it while penciling in an answer on a crossword puzzle, looking down a valley to a building through a window to a frazzled college student scraping time out of the bottom of the filthy bucket he was handed. The question comes in the juxtaposition. The "how can these two exist at the same time, in the same world, with the same standards of living, with the same loves and the same texts and the same city?"

Interestingly enough, I think that the answer is also found in the same image. Well, perhaps answer is too strong a word. I'll say comfort instead. I can know that in a place where the frazzled college student claws his way to the end of another paper and digs his way to the end of another book and squeezes his way from appointment to appointment to obligation to obligation there is also a man on a hill with a book and a breeze and a palpable calm in his chest. I can know that in the midst of this tempest of things to do, somewhere the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in sight. Whatever problem you're facing isn't nearly as big as you think it is. It is not the whole world.

"In the chaos and confusion I know You're sovereign still," sing the lyrics to a fantastic song. I have things to do, yes. I have requirements, yes. I have deadlines, yes. But in the big picture? I'm still just a speck of a human on a speck of a planet in a speck of a galaxy in a speck of a solar system in a still expanding universe in the palm of an infinite God. Who am I to even think that my problems are the end of the world, no matter how catastrophic they seem at the time? If the things by which I am bounded (time) are controlled and even laughed at by my Father, what could I possibly gain from one second of worry? And just how small is my faith?

I swear, this blog is therapy.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.