Erros Callidus

Muted Musings of a maybe-Mystic.

Location: Kandahar, Afghanistan

Working/living/learning/loving... Anywhere and anytime, and if there's shooting involved it just keeps life interesting and adds needed motivation to keep moving!

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Conception of the will and desire
for that which is impossibly
possible through the ONE
ONE who moves unseen and unknown
the threads of thought
weft of will and fabric of fate
are constructs through which our
fragile psychoses try to work
while all along the ONE
ONE who moves unseen and unknown
is knowing
only knowing, but in that knowing
all possible perceptions and pain
are brought together and moved
beyond and behind our limited
sight lines, angles and
fields of fire and love
brought back to

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Disconnected... Disoriented... Dissonant... Dischordant... Disassociated... Displaced.

It's been a few months since I've gotten back from Kabul. I've gotten a full time job at an airport here in town. I've been trying to work out what's next. Where to go and what to do. It's odd though, while I'm back where I'm "from" I'm finding I have to work at "encultureating" just as hard here as anywhere else I've been. Things that seem evident to me are either inconcievable or immediately discounted. Attitudes are different, minds that are thought to be 'open' are in reality open only so far as to let in things considered 'safe.' The status-quo is worshipped and instability and risk are unheard of. People are insulated from the 'unsanitary' to such a degree that they can deny the very existance of it. It's a continuing process of determing and balancing the realities of existance here (job, housing, transportation, etc.) with the desire for engagement and interaction with cultures and people different from my own. It's more difficult than I thought; to balance work, rest, hang-out, and cultural/social exposure. In addition the constant struggle to NOT give in to the "normal" definitions of success/failure, religion/state, and morality increase the fatigue and frustration. Not to mention the political climate in beautiful conservative Oklahoma... Hopefully I can refine and define these frustrations a little better in the future. Or I could just leave again...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

After a Hiatus

Well, back again... back in the US, back in a 9 to 5 (or 6 to 2) job. Fortunately it's a job at an airport. So now I'm working through all kinds of interesting things. I've got a "Notebook of Damnation" as I call it where I keep my thoughts and musings on just about any topic and also notes and commentary on the things I see going on around me. I'll be posting a few ideas from there here. NOT too many or I may have to move again. hmmmm... that doesn't sound that bad.

That's going to be it for now. I'll have to get a little more organized. Oh, and I'll post a few things about departing Kabul and life there that I've been saving up as well. Just so you don't miss out on all that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Regretting Regret (or something along those lines)

I’ve been trying to live life without regret for a few years now. I think it might have finally caught up with me. It has taken an odd twist of circumstance, but to quote the infamous V: “I ,like God, do not play at dice, nor do I believe in coincidence.” So circumstances have led me to conclude that perhaps Regret is not Anathema, but a desire to be more than the sum of our failures and inadequacies. A continuing quest for a ‘pure’ experience however unattainable it might be for man. That no matter how deep you bury emotion or suspicion (I can bury both VERY deep), it WILL come to you and you WILL face the reaction and results. Not in an ethereal “judgement day” sometime/where, but a very real evocation of feeling and an internal reckoning of what has transpired and why. You will never be able to grow past any actions you’ve buried until you’ve faced them full on and acknowledged the impact and import of each and every one. (and by “you” I mean “I” of course)

The Past can be a knife
Slicing at your present
Hemorrhaging your future

The Past can be a net
Holding you rooted
Restraining you with fear

The Past can be an altar
Stealing your first-stillborn
Burning your Dreams

The Past can be a treasure
Lighting your now
Providing for your then

The Past can be a many things
It is Anathema
It is Life
It is lens you look through
To see the world you’ve made

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Changing Perspectives

“Was that Evanescence? That last song you played.” “Yeah, why?”
“Do you think they’re a Christian band?” “Are you serious? No, of course not.”
“Than why did you play them tonght? Is it a good idea for youth group?”
“You can’t learn from them?”
“A non-Christian band?”
“You can’t learn from other’s mistakes?” “Well, I guess…”

This conversation actually happened last Thursday between myself and a couple of the youth here. I had actually only played about a quarter of the song. I stopped it way earlier than I originally intended to. Gave the excuse that I forgot the lyrics. What I actually realized was that the song (The Only One… Trk. 10) was really a challenge to myself and people like me. People coming out of the “safe” places that they grew up in. No, I’m not talking about leaving the CONUS, or walking around downtown Kabul by myself. (Afghans find it just short of amazing that I do that… “I am Pasqinelle, and I come to you unafraid”) As fun as those activities are I’m really talking about ideas, actions, beliefs, people, perspectives, and acceptance/non-acceptance of those things that are different. Even, finding new and challenging sources for living and learning.

The CD in question at the youth group was the newest Evanescence album, “The Open Door.” It seems that it is a mirror of my experiences, not always literally, but enough so that it’s eerie. Over the last few years I’ve come a long ways and even though I’m on the other side of the world, I’m not talking about distance. Emotionally (yeah, guys have emotions), professionally, and theologically, I’ve been up and down quite a bit. Seems more down than up, but I learn more when I’m down anyway. I usually prefer a healthy dose of dark realism, than a sunny pretend fakeness. “Question everything,” and “Never do anything the easy way.” Are two of my life creeds. So I have been… questioning, learning. And never easily. Always in the middle of some kind of discussion or trying to figure something out halfway round the world. Or while in a factory in Norman dumping powder down a hole or cruising on a forklift. Apparently I’ve been fairly “successful” as I’ve been having quite a few discussions like the above and usually when I think it’s a no-brainer or that something is “obvious.” Disconcerting and thought provoking at the same time, because it leads me to ask: is there an occasion when I need to find a new place to think/act on my ideas, a “last straw” event that breaks me or someone around me? Or do I stay where I am and attempt to integrate the “new” thoughts and processes I’m involved in with people and activities that are perhaps wholly unfamiliar with where I’ve been and where I’m going, even though we seem to be headed in the same direction (and who might oppose new ideas on general principle)? I suppose this is a place that many people before have come and I wonder what has become of them. Some survived, I hope, others have continued true to their own path and have quite definitely died on it.

“I long to be like you, lie cold in the ground like you… There’s room inside for two, I’m not grieving for you, I’m coming for you. You’re not alone, no matter what they told you, you’re not alone, I’ll be right beside you forever…” – Evanescence.

Hope your new year is like the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." I'm pretty sure mine will be...

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Chirstmas in Kabul (4th and counting)

This year marks the fourth year that I have not been at “home” for Christmas. “Home” being defined as at my parents house. Last year was Istanbul, the two years before that were California. It was my first Christmas here in Kabul and was low-key, but good. Interestingly enough I was able, in three days, to participate in three of the “worlds” here. I call them worlds because depending on who you are and who you work for your experiences here can be drastically different. Oh yeah, it was also my first “white” Christmas in a few years, at least, the first one I can remember. It started snowing on the afternoon of the 23rd and did not stop until the morning of the 26th. The picture was taken late afternoon of the 24th.

I should describe the “world” I’m most involved in now. That of a business/government employee/manager. During Christmas it doesn’t exist, literally. Just about every expatriate employee, embassy worker, or whatever leaves for the week before, week of, and week after Christmas. So nothing happens. It’s quiet. All the Christmas parties are over by 14 December… I guess that would be the fourth world present here, but right now it isn’t.

On the 23rd my little Odyssey began. It was the next to last work day for the week and we’d had a little more productive than usual day (remember the business people are all gone so it’s been slow). That and I’d managed to find some tin foil for the Qailoon after about 2 weeks. (If you don’t know what a Qailoon, is look up Hookah on Google) We usually crank it up and hang out after hours about once a week or so, mostly on our last work day of the week. The time started out as a normal occation of me and 2 or 3 Afghans hanging out and talking about Christmas coming up and various other mundane workplace topics. Soon however, my Djimbe (it’s an African drum) and a couple flutes (Irish pennywhistles) that I carry around were broken out. One of the guys that works with me is pretty good on the Afghan flute and picked up quickly on the pennywhistle. So I threw out a local-ish beat on the Djimbe and we proceeded to jam out!! We played for an hour or so going back and forth with different melodies and rhythms the whole time working on the Qailoon. It’s rare enough to find an American musician with whom you can just start playing and “know” what’s coming next (I’ve played with exactly two, it’s THAT rare), it’s a dream come true to be able to do that with an Afghan friend. I’m not sure who was more into it that night. Me, him, or the guy who was listening… I’ve been hoping to get a chance to jam like that for a long time, it really is a dream come true.

The 24th saw my Odyssey continuing as I attended a Christmas Eve chapel service on one of the local U.S. Military posts. It’s only a few blocks from my house so I took a walk over there a little bit earlier than the service was supposed to start. After some (mis)communication on how I would get in, (involving two civilian contractor friends, a Marine Captain, and an Army Colonel) I finally got in and headed over to the chapel. By the time I (and my Col. friend) made it to the service it was already underway. We opened the doors and went into a large metal frame and canvas garage/gym. It was filled with men and women, uniformed in mottled brown and digital green all singing together “Hark the Herald.” With weapons in racks along the walls, and holsters dangling from jackets and legs, these service-members were still taking the time to remember the coming of Christ to Earth. Their schedules never let up, and many could have been sleeping, eating, or at the PX buying last minute gifts for buddies and family members, but they weren’t. They were singing and praying and even, for one American, getting baptized on that very special night.

Christmas Day!! A time for family, friends, a special church service in the morning, a huge lunch, and…. guard duty?? Well if you’re a Marine (like my friend), or volunteered for it at the church on Christmas Day, then yeah… guard duty. I volunteered for it. Mainly cause I didn’t really feel like going to church on Christmas Day, but also because it freed up somebody who DID want to go to church on Christmas Day to go. That and the usual security was an absolute joke, so I figured I could at least see if my ideas would work for the process (they did, and fortunately we didn’t have to put any of the GOTH plans into effect). So my first Christmas Morning in Kabul was spent at the gate of the church and on the wall watching the streets as the snow fell. I loved every minute of it! After that I got to join a family for a thoroughly American Christmas Day. Complete with PS2 playing, Hot Cider, Tree, a big lunch of roast, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, bread, PIE (!!), and an hour or so of ear-breakingly loud jamming on a drum set with an electric guitar player! Though there weren’t any blueberry muffins, it was still a great time of just chillin’ out with a family and having a good time. I even got to unwrap a present! A pair of really warm socks. Now before you roll your eyes, consider: the snow, the temperature of a city at 6,500 feet above Sea Level (higher than Denver) a week after the Winter Solstice, and the complete lack of central heating in the EN-TIRE country. So… not so bad eh? I didn’t think so either.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A beautiful paradox

This was copied from the book: "From One Who Knows,"originally published in Greek, it was translated into Latin by Catullus in the first century AD. It is thought that this obscure book is where Catullus recieved much of his inspiration. I read it in a Latin class in college and have kept a copy ever since.

"Women [Girls] are an enigma, a bundle of paradox that both enlightens and maddens at the same time. Capable of the most stimulating conversation and touch. Somthing that you can't live without; can't stop thinking about; can't breathe without... But at the same time you have to stand back, let go, acknowledge,trust and entrust to another person: another entity only provable by their continued impact on your life, the very song of beauty that cannot be contained, a vision that can only be beheld, never captured, for to constrain such a perfection of expereince, such a lively, dancing spark of life would be a blasphemy far beyond the most base sin imaginable. Therein lies the great pain inherent in the greatest of love... one cannot help but give away their very being, but one cannot demand a return. When a return IS given it is a thing of epic beauty, when it isn't it life can be the bleakest of winter nights... "

This is a refined quote... if you caught the earlier one on myspace, this one is from after I looked it up on the web and confirmed my memory. This post was inspired by a friend who seems to think "Girls=The Devil." Aside from the obvious theological and cosmological implications, it seemed to me an oversimplification of the truth (little t, so it's not the final T, Truth) and demanded a rebuttal. If it seems a little overdone, as "one who knows," I think this quote is pretty accurate. If you disagree, I'd question your ability to feel human emotion... or maybe you just don't want to admit that somebody could get to you that way.