C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Tuesday, April 30, 2002
It was me, at 11 years old, talking to some counselors at the camp I was going to that summer.
I had overheard some counselors earlier -- that is, I'd been standing nearby and they half-involved me in the conversation on the condition that I wouldn't tell anyone -- saying something about riding their bikes up and down the mountain our camp was located on and being careful at night and whatnot. At the camp I'd been at earlier that summer, similar conversations had taken place among the counselors that were making late-night runs to the Hard Rock Cafe not far from camp. Sure, they needed a break, but there was a reason they were being paid to sleep in the same bunks as the campers, or at least stay up late in nearby rooms. Camps spawn odd problems at night -- sometimes emergencies and sometimes panicking campers that need someone older to be there for them. I knew, as a camper, that these counselors were not doing the right thing. So when at this other camp the same summer (with many of the same dynamics as were at the first camp) I overheard the counselors talking this way, I figured they were the same types as at the first camp, and they were making their "escape" plans.
When they asked me to promise I wouldn't tell anyone about it, my eleven-year-old mind took that to mean that they trusted me with their secret. And I was going to do everything in my power to keep their trust. So I didn't tell anyone about their plans. However, that night I did walk around, in my annoying-brat way, telling everyone that I knew a secret I wasn't going to let them in on.
The next morning at the morning devotional/lesson time, I realized that I'd been completely mistaken in my assumptions. Having only heard half of the conversation, I found that they weren't planning anything off camp properties or that involved escaping from campers. Indeed, they had been planning the skit that was about, I think, making wise decisions or something along that line. The skit involved a few of the counselors acting as though they were running off on some wild mountain biking adventure and then crashed and broke just about every limb in their bodies. However these plans translated in my mind into them sneaking off the campground for a breath of fresh air doesn't matter these many years later. What does matter, though, is that I learned a very important lesson in that situation. Along with finally grasping the concept of assumptions and how foolish they usually are, I also realized how foolish I was to go around saying "I know something you don't know" .. how annoying that was to others, and how especially silley it was in a situation when I really actually didn't know anything at all.
The memory of that day has come up in my memory a few times every year since. I continue to learn from it to this very moment. I have analyzed, over and over again (I'm a big fan of "discovering" the same thing multiple times, apparently), what motivated my actions.
For one thing, I really did feel trusted. I felt like these people I thought so highly of (they were in *gasp* college! So much older than me!) saw me as something close to an equal, at least on a mental level. That was one of the earlier examples in my life of that happening, and I wasn't really prepared to handle that feeling properly.
Also, I felt special. *I* knew something, or so I thought, that others didn't know. I was an individual. Out of all the other campers and uninvolved counselors there that weekend, I was the only one that was let in on this huge secret.
I was also seeking attention. Whether or not I'd actually tell anyone the secret, I wanted other people to know just how special and trusted I was. "Look at me!" I proclaimed. "I have a secret!"
I felt mature in not telling the secret.
I felt powerful because (a) trust is power, and (b) not betraying trust is power.
For all these reasons and so many more, I harbored my secret behind neon signs. No one would break it out of me, but no one would know it wasn't there. *I* had a secret.
It's been many years since that time, and I still find all these same motives behind many of my actions today. On Saturday night, I brought up a past situation (in fully light-hearted conversation) that would have been better off buried where it had been. In so doing, I also ended up causing some other unintended mischief and hurting at least one person's feelings.
For that, I am sorry. And I have since analyzed my feelings all over. It's the same old game.
Inside jokes, background stories, and veiled references to would-be-rumors have always been a special treat for me. In the particularly close friendships that I had before moving here, there was at least one inside joke created a week, and often more. Inside jokes, in and of themselves, are fine. I honestly neither create them nor bring them up to exclude others (as is implied by the term "inside" jokes), but rather because there are those special moments and memories that are only special to those that were originally there, and that can be recalled vividly with the simple mention of a few words or reenactment of one particular facial expression.
I also loved knowing stories behind .. well, anything. Moments. Events. Marraiges. Songs. Whatever can possibly have a story, I loved knowing it. And each story that I heard, moreso each story I actually witnessed, was locked away in my memory. When I could pull them out -- and proove that I was there or that I knew that story or that I could remember something minute and unimportant to anyone not attached to the moment -- I so enjoyed being able to recall the vivid memories and re-tell the stories.
And then there are the veiled references. Things that are not public knowledge, and especially things that should not be for whatever reason (such as too much history for most people to understand with the brief story given), have always been my favorite things to know. And when I could combine the concepts of inside jokes and background stories into a veiled reference to a would-be rumor, just toeing the edge of spilling the rumor into the realm of gossip, I always felt a peculiar satisfaction from nearing that line and then relieving the witness or victim by not crossing it.
This weekend, I reckon I got a little too close. Who needs veiled references when you can just tease listeners with the scandelous part of the story to get their attention and then explain why it's not what they think, eh?
Again, it was all the same motives. I loved knowing something others hadn't known. I loved having been inadvertantly (and, it seems, unwisely) trusted with knowledge that never had anything to do with me. Well, not enough to do with me to matter. I enjoyed toeing the line. And I must admit, I'm sure the attention played some significant role in my motives as well.
It was certainly not worth the hurt it caused. Few things ever are. And it was certainly not a display of the maturity and trust I have worked for these several years.
It is done now, and I hope that I have finally learned this lesson enough times and in enough ways to never have to learn it again.
I feel like the classmates I have that enroll and pay for a class, come to about half the sessions, bomb the tests, and eventually just take their F and resign to repeating the class again next semester. They say that experience is the best, yet most expensive, teacher. Why do I waste these opportunities to learn? Why do I keep re-enrolling, paying again and again. More than that, why do I always make other people pay for my own immaturities and struggles? That is certainly the greater sin.
It is times like those that seem to justify the lack of close friends I have in town. And yet, looking back on how very far I've come since I was an eleven-year-old camper-brat, I also have so much hope that someday in the future, I will not have to analyze this same set of motives. I know that I have changed. I know that Christ is continually transforming me more and more to His likeness. I know that this is a very long process, and is certainly a very hard process. I know, most of all, that I long to be standing face-to-face with my Jesus, who loves me and in whom no veiled reference or secrets can be found. Here on earth, I will continue to ask our Messiah to break all my neon signs, and all my assumption-harbors. I, of course, ought to keep the secrets I'm entrusted with. But keeping a secret effectively really means that no one else even knows there's a secret being kept.
"If I can't [stand], let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you... If I weep, let it be as a man longing for his Home." -- Rich Mullins
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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th