Here is but a post that is two years overdue, call it an extended bio if you choose. And it is true, today marks the second anniversary of the beginning of this little creative outpost. The point of writing my name to you is that I see who you are, you see who I am…and that’s what it’s about.
My name is Ryan Love. I am 41 years young. My nickname is Buddy out west and Bubba back home, hence the Be. Home being the hidden, paradoxical beauty of Alabama. I now live just down a mountain pass from the majestic splendor of Lake Tahoe in beautiful Carson Valley, Nevada. I moved out West sixteen years ago today as well.
A loving and God-fearing family raised me. My mother, bless her soul, with her ability to harness all of our shit, mainly mine, still amazes me. Though my siblings are significantly younger, we have managed to stay close, even with the age difference and me being so far away from home.
I am a single dad to a four-year-old son walking away from a collapsed marriage that I had a strong hand in tearing down. Now I am finding my purpose through God. I am learning how to live alone with Him half the week, the other half I am trying to be the best father to him that I can be.
I was once considered an alcoholic—I for one may not have been, but then again that’s what I perceive from within. I was always one to skirt the idea of moderation, and that is in itself a glaring sign of alcoholism. As I stand today, without staggering, I have almost learned how to master my self-control, ‘tis but the season though, for loneliness to creep up on the right thing to do.
Nowadays I am a Chef in the casino industry, so temptation does flirt with me on a nightly basis, and it is quite the task shaking myself loose from it on those Friday nights when the adrenaline drip is more or less at a steady stream. But the beast within has found purpose and unity with God especially when he gets to push around this pen. And it is true that once I let the wolf in, he has become my greatest teacher.
I first realized that I had a knack for writing when I was in Journalism back in high school—many, many moons ago. I covered the sports beat for the high school paper because I was a bit of a jock and I could spell, which back in those days didn’t always go hand in hand. But then I started to dabble with illegal substances and my dream of making it to the big leagues of life and baseball fell apart. As much as I said no to drugs, they never listened. So let me be a lesson, don’t do drugs.
When not working, my hobbies include writing, reading, snowboarding, exploring God in the wilderness around me, photography, fly-fishing, and creating memories and art with my child.
I have questioned authority at every crossroad in my life. I have always said that I knew the rules but the rules did not know me. This sometimes breathes true even today. I have those who have egged me on, and of course myself. One could say my friends and I were nothing but a bunch of heathens, such is adolescence I guess. But we have a bond between us that will last a lifetime and maybe more. A bond that will never be broken.
I tried my hand at college, but much to no avail because I was too smart for school. Oh good ole fashioned hindsight. It’s worth the mention that I do not regret a damn thing, well maybe one or two things, but that’s neither here nor there. The memories that haven’t faded are still as precious to me as the moment they were created.
Then I fell head over heels in love with a girl. Sure I’d been through the ringer with cherry-popping puppy loves, but this one touched my soul. Next came the heartbreak and the words they rained like poetic tears from the depths of my being. These words were not very well situated in the lyrical sense, still debatable whether they are nowadays. Nonetheless, my soul had finally come to the center stage of me. Then it vanished for a long time, the beast, my ego came front and center, with no intent on feeding the soul.
In the midst of my efforts of dealing with heartbreak, higher learning, hallucinogenics, and a Pink Floyd obsession, I started writing in the sense of reality. I fell in love with the Beat Generation: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, and di Prima. They were all so transcendental and unique, with all of the philosophical and Zen undertones it was hard to not fall in love with them. Then I read “On The Road” by Kerouac and my soul fell sick with the travel bug. I traveled far and wide looking for a home away from home.
At this stage in my life I considered myself agnostic. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, as much as I didn’t want to believe one way or another, sort of like taking the high road. And I really to this day do not know why. Sure I had a sturdy moral compass that would fall out of whack from time to time, but for some reason my ego thought intellect was more reasonable than God. More on this down the road.
Then came my second taste of spiritual awakening, or maybe it was a crisis, maybe both are one in the same. Who knows? It was in 2008. I took some classes at the local community college, and finally got around to reading “Heart Of Darkness” and I became consumed with the elements of good and evil within man. I couldn’t stop writing. My writing evolved at a rapid rate this time around. Something was opening up within me.
From here I turned to an infatuation with the Donner Party, so much so that I wrote a screenplay about it. The chaos, the demons of hunger, the capability of what man would do to survive blew my mind wide open. The events that surrounded that winter of 1847, made my mind move in directions it never had, what if we were living in Hell?
This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.
As soon as my soul would bark back, the beast would only tighten his grip, choking the life out of my softness. Then I gave up my passion of writing because my head was swelling instead of moving in linear directions. The beast couldn’t handle it without the soul, and didn’t feel the need to collaborate. And I was still questioning God and his antics. From there I put down the pen and decided to focus on my career as a Chef, being a Chef feeds the ego.
Then came 2016, my child was two and a half. God had very much proved his existence through the eyes of my child. But I became sick at the hate that was dividing our blessed country in half. And yes I sort of blamed God. This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.
I could no longer stand pat within the herds of ignorance and mediocrity. I felt that maybe my way with words could plant seeds that would bloom into hope and salvation, something that made love seem not so distraught and grow into something more beautiful than the world had ever seen. After all what a man sees in the world, he carries in his heart.
Then came a vessel out of nowhere that showed me the true light of God’s work. This vessel gave flight to a new me, and readjusted my system of beliefs. I felt a creative spark that I had never knew existed. Sure being a Chef came with avenues upon avenues of creative effort, from managing different personalities, to creating specials, to setting the standards for the simplicity of a kitchen’s flow. But something was different with this creative spark from writing, to photography; my soul had found its home within the walls of creative gusto.
I have come to find it humbling that the wilderness within the eighteen inches from my head to my heart is the purpose of my journey in life. And I am humbled that you all still listen. And I have learned that I am much happier talking to myself, rather than listening to myself. Try it. It works.
It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker.
Now here I am still fighting my inner demons, trying my damndest to keep the beast on a leash, hoping to mind my head, and surrender my heart to the power of God’s Love, and just maybe the consistency of me watering my own seed through prayer and devotion will breathe consistent with my purpose while these words with their rooted message of hope, love, and faith for all mankind shall forever spring from the bottom of my heart. And now every day I awake by acknowledging my dependence for God above and my need for His mercy.
Recently I was saved at my family church back home, but I still have a long and winding path ahead. It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker. And the reason why I feel this way is as follows.
Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say, “I am here because of you, your sin, your curse, your debt, your death, I am here for you. Nothing in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. We all have self-inflated views of ourselves, especially in the self-righteous state, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” If anything speaks the truth it starts with minding your head.
One more thing you may not have known about me. This band Widespread Panic, they are very much a part of me, I have traveled all corners of this land to see them, I have made friends of a lifetime through the most hospitable scene behind a traveling circus of music. And even though panic is the one thing that is widespread in this world, it is an honest tune with a lingering lead that has taken me this far, and will always leave me wondering.
This is a story of me. And who knows maybe you may come to find out a little about yourself as I find me.