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
Thursday, November 28, 2002
So, a few pleas to those of you that will be taking advantage of the sales and such tomorrow:
Please, be nice to everyone, no matter what happens. If your parking spot gets taken just as you're about to turn in, don't yell at the person. If someone right near you grabs up the last of the toys you wanted to get for your children, be understanding. Their children want it just as badly as yours do, and toys aren't the point of this season anyway. If you're having a very frustrating experience, please, please, PLEASE don't take it out on your retail store sales associate, your restaurant waitress, or anyone else that has to stand there and take it just because the company pays them. Believe me, I won't be taking any of that tomorrow. I won't talk back, but I will walk away if somebody is being unreasonable. I've had my share of fiesty "guests" (or customers, for those not politically corrected by Target) so far this season, and I certainly don't need any more of that.
Likewise, please keep your focus. This isn't about toys and saving money and getting all your errands done in the speediest possible fashion. This is about the fact that two thousand years ago, a baby was born that would live to show us how, die for our sins, and raise again to be with His Father, which is His rightful place in this world to begin with. It is the Resurrection that conquers death, but it is the birth that started it all, in which God became man in a way no other religion ever imagined. Along with that, or for those that don't believe in the true meaning of Christmas, there's also the fact that getting all stressed out, spending so much gas running all over town looking for THE thing on THE sale day, and all the other commonalities occuring on the day after Thanksgiving --- all of these things nuetralize the fact that you're saving any money at all, or that you have the day off of work.
Tomorrow morning at 7am, the Target at which I work will be opening its doors, and I will watch people literally run down the aisles to get to the certain sale items they most want first. Adults, that is, will be running, and fighting, and being general brats. This will be a very strange experience for me, because, frankly, these types of things simply never mattered to me. I had plenty of toys growing up, yes, and many of them were brand name. However, many of them weren't, and I loved those ones just as much. And to my knowledge, my parents never braved the after-Thanksgiving crowd. Actually, because my brothers and I often went into my mother's closet to find our gifts (I had yet to understand the concepts of delayed gratification or morality, to my own discredit), I know that my mother got most of the Christmas shopping done many months before Christmas day.
So, I have decided that I'm not going to let even the fiestiest customer upset me. I am going to work a very long shift (I worked longer days at Applebee's a few years ago, so I believe I'll be perfectly capable of this, especially having had today off and not starting on Saturday 'till 4pm) and then I'm going to go home and sleep, more thankful for my bed then usual.
Actually, I'm not going home to sleep, because I'm dog-and-house-sitting this weekend. Carmel, who belongs to Glenn and Faith and their children, is a very excited border collie. She's great fun to play with except that she sometimes gets a bit rough (though she's very obedient, so telling her no calms her down immediately) and I love staying at Glenn and Faith's house. It's a gorgeous house in the Victorian style, and was probably built in the early 1800's if not before. That's one thing that I absolutely love about Virginia as compared to FL: very old homes. I was too young when I lived in MA to really appriciate the age of buildings or the architectural style, but I've certainly made up for the lost time in the past nearly four years.
So I had a lovely Thanksgiving, spending it with one of my favorite families, and am about to go over to Heath and Danielle's house for the rest of the evening. I'm going to go home and get to bed as early as possible, fo course, because it's going to be a VERY early morning. I quite looking forward to my break, short as it will feel, because it'll be long enough to fit a nap into it.
I'll be posting more early next week if not before. I can't believe it's been ten days since I last posted. I really think that I posted something else between then and now (a lot's happened, to be sure, about which I wanted to post) but if I did, it didn't go through. Drat.
So, God bless you all. Be thankful, be glad, and most important, remember the focus of Christmas. Celebrate Christ, every day of every year, but especially this upcoming month, when the temptation is so much greater to make it into a commercialized and selfish/familish holiday.
Monday, November 18, 2002
I don't think I've ever met this girl, or if I have it was only in passing. I'm not usually on campus at this hour, but it's possible we've seen eachother in the halls during some earlier classes she may or may not have.
I was fascinated, as I stood there with the door open preparing to go inside, that a complete stranger felt compelled to start sharing all this with whoever happened across her path and was friendly enough to make eye contact. With no warning, no transition, just the spillage of all her processing thoughts.
These are times when I'm glad, though terribly uncomfortable, to be in such situations, to have "randomly" shown up when and where someone needed me, or needed somebody, at any rate.
We exchanged a few more comments (such as how difficult it will be when she starts as an EMT, before getting desensitized, to see all these real human beings slipping away in her hands, or how she's got a great deal more such videos to see) and I walked inside, coming here to the computer lab so I could blog about this experience immediately.
Sometimes, we are entertaining angels unaware.. and sometimes, there are human beings that need us more.
Friday, November 15, 2002
This is the rough sketch:
Horseback riding on Wednesday (from which I'm amazingly saddle sore.. Cimmanim hasn't been ridden in about two months and has put on plenty of weight to proove it)
Hanging out with most of my good coffeehouse friends that night 'till nearly three am
Last of my Thursdays babysitting for the women's Bible study, 'cause they've finished the book. That means not only getting to hang out with the most adorable kids at my church (although Gracie and her mom, Susie, didn't make it) but also getting to sit around and share lunch with all the women, most of whom I've known for a good long while.
Went to Wal-mart and picked up the last two rolls of film I've taken, which included pictures of me on Cimmanim from the day before, my mother's visit way back in August, my stitches and the picture taken in the hospital, and some nice shots of my jr. high group's hike a couple weeks ago.
Went to my computer graphics class and finished my project for that one, along with helping a few classmates both with that and with the whole "my landlord refuses to demold the heat system" issues so common in college towns.
Drove to NC -- the drive not only included great views of my favorite mountain, the beautiful east coast leaves, and the rivers that I love passing on my way down there, but also the most incredible sunset I've seen in a long while. The kind of vivid that, instead of just taking your breath, almost makes you cry at the beauty. There was great music, and good snacks, and it was a wonderful drive.
Met up with my friend Dawn, and later with Katey and Diedre as well, at the Derek Webb (from Caedmon's Call) show at NCSU. Good show, nice to hear him live and solo (though Caedmon's Call is also vunderbar as a band), and really great to spend time with freinds.
Went over to the Carrboro Arts Center with Dawn and stopped by to see Eddie From Ohio after their show there. They got to see my scar and get some shortbread finally (the package I'd made for them for the show back in October got lost in the a-stack-of-chairs-fell-on-my-head confusion), and I got to introduce Dawn to them and give them a double of the hospital picture.
Drove home, very great drive. Witnessed a vibrant, pink-and-lavender sunrise. I haven't seen a sunrise in a very, very long time.. and the ones I have seen more recently tended to stay more on the muted and/or just white/bright side, rather than being so colorful and vibrant. Also go to see my favorite mountain, the east coast leaves, and the rivers again. I love rivers, fall leaves, and mountains. Ah, yes, Virginia is a wonderful place to live.
I had some pretty interesting dreams before my drive back up, and a couple (that I don't remember at all) when I slept at home, too.
So anyway, what an amazing couple of days. Oh, and at Derek's show, he was doing various praise songs at the end. Now, I've never been too outgoing in praise.. I move (not so much dancing, but just sorta swaying and drumming on my legs and that sorta thing) and I sing much louder than someone so off-key should when I get really into it, but I'm still pretty reserved. Last night, though, I actually raised my hands during one of the songs, and stared at the moon (it was an outside show, and let me tell you it was FREEZING) and sang my heart out to the God that loves me so much. It's kinda like suddenly deciding that you'd like to try Chinese Food and then realizing you love it. I dunno that this will become normal for me, but I know that I was glad to be outside my comfort zone and yet so completely alive and free, as opposed to uncomfortable, and that I have an even deeper understanding now of praising God for the ability to praise Him.
I've gotta get to work now. Hope you all are having excellent days as well!
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
This friend, whom we'll call Baggins, lives out of town. To make the really long-and-detailed version into a shorter version that may not make much sense, the bottom line is that he was gonna be near enough for a short drive (and the bonus of getting to visit with other friends) and so I got in touch with him about hanging out. The first time, a week and a half ago, was fun enough. We chatted a little, but there was a lot of other stuff going on, and so I still was looking forward to the other time (one week later) when we'd get to hang out in a smaller group.
However, he didn't return my phone calls between, nor give me any indication that he cared if we saw eachother or not. When I finally did see him on the same night originally planned (but hours later and again with a lot of other stuff going on), he didn't even look at me much while we were sitting in the same group of people, nor say hi when he first joined the group. When he was getting ready to leave, he finally acknowledged my presence in preperation for departure. I asked if we could talk for just a minute, even though he had to get going.
"Sure," he said. And at that moment, all my guts went right out the window -- everything I knew I needed to say, or the explanation of why I was frustrated. What I wanted to say went something along the line of: "I'm not a stalker, I don't have a crush on you, and I don't have romantic hopes involving you. I'm gonna be single forever, even. But I did want to hang out, and you said that you did, too, and so I came down here for that purpose. What's the deal??"
What I actually said was more like: "I'm frustrated, because you didn't return any phone calls, you didn't let me know anything was up or that plans had to be changed, you just left me completely in the dark. I came down here because you said that you wanted to hang out .. I didn't invite myself."
His reply: "Please don't take any offense. I didn't mean any offense by it." He then followed that up with a few excuses that contradicted other things he'd said in our original conversation in weeks previous.
So this is the thing. Forgiveness isn't dependent on things being justifiable. He tried to give me excuses that meant he hadn't actually done anything wrong, which (a) entirely devalidates my own feelings and perceptions, and (b) neglects to heal any wounds or to trust in a friendship. If he can't say he's sorry, it's either because he believes he didn't do anything wrong, or because he doesn't believe I can forgive him. Either way, it certainly doesn't build a relationship at all (and I mean platonic relationships here, though the same truth applies to romantic ones) when one person simply can't/won't say the words, "I'm sorry."
Granted, he may well not have the same intention of building a friendship, and that's fine. The point, however, is that he told me he wanted to hang out, and then he apparently didn't want that at all. However, he was not honest with me either in saying that he just didn't want to hang out, nor in saying that this wasn't a good time.
There are a lot of other thoughts about forgiveness in human terms that have sprung from this, but I have to go to work right at this moment. I'll surely be posting more about it soon enough, though.
Thursday, November 07, 2002
Tomorrow night, I'm going to Raleigh, NC to see a concert and spend time with local friends. I'll come home on Saturday and attend whatever party Spencer is having for his birthday, partly to celebrate with him and partly to keep MacKenzie, his very young daughter, from messing with the little game pieces when his gaming group comes over as well. I'll be going to church on Sunday morning, of course, and then the jr. high leaders have a meeting, and then there's the house church I babysit for, and then there's open mic night at the coffeeshop. Sundays have gotten quite full!
There are a few other fun events coming up this week, and several more throughout the month, so I'm quite excited about November 2002 in particular. I've gotta go get my work schedule for next week (really, I'd so prefer they post it on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays.. it's a huge difference, really.) and then I get to go to Jr. High, and then home to rest before tomorrow.
I actually forgot to put my steri-strips on today when I got outta the shower (though most people figgur I prolly don't need them anymore anyway, but it does make me nervous for various reasons) and that's been fine, so I may wear them again tomorrow just in case but by Sunday will certainly be completely done with it. I'm pretty certain there will be a scar, and if the scar continues to look exactly as it does now (which is a bit red, so I'm sure it won't) it'll mostly look like my eyebrow, but different enough to still start conversations. If the eyebrow doesn't grow back but I also don't have much of a scar, though, that's the one possible scenario that might make me wish things were a wee bit different.
So I'm gonna go now. It's chilly out, but still beautiful days, whether raining or not. And you can't beat the Blue Ridge leaf-changing. It's gorgeous here, folks, and I can't imagine how I made it through the never-changing seasons in Florida for so long.
Ah, the joys of youth are too quickly forsaken.
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Today, though, it was quite rainy, I didn't get much sleep last night, and I woke up in a wee bit of pain. Still and all, I've been really happy-go-lucky today.
I'm sure that part of it is because last night was a relaxed night at work, the calm between the seasonal storms. And because I baked shortbread out the wazzoo last night, and had absolutely nothing scheduled to do today except class time and my possible once-a-week-if-any-at-all TV time tonight --- unless Jeff, who works at a tv station, has to work late because of the election.
I drove passed the election site three times this morning, because my mind kept going into auto-drive mode and I kept forgetting to turn. So I'd drive for a while, realize that I'd passed it a ways back, and repeat the cycle. Finally, though, I did make it there and cast my vote.
Walking to class today, in the very cold rain (I could see my breath, but it was a crisp kinda cold, not biting and not drenching.. just cold), I was so glad for the rain, and to be able to be outside in it. It felt good against my face, and it wasn't enough to keep me cold once I got inside.
This past weekend, I got to hold the three-and-a-half-week-old new baby of my landlords, who are also the parents I've been babysitting for for about a year and a half now (their daughter, Gracie, has made it into a few of my blog entries in the past) and are folks I know from church and very much enjoy being around. Baby Charlotte (always Baby Charlotte, not just Charlotte) is such a precious, tiny little bundle. I had the normal moment of "I can't hold her.. she could fall, I could drop her, she might wiggle, I might not hold her head enough.." However, I quickly let those fears subside as I cradled her in my arms and stared into her eyes. She's quite alert, her features are very defined, and she's got an adoring and adorable big sister that hasn't quite figured out what all this means. Gracie is very helpful at nearly two years old (in January), and yet doesn't really have the attention span yet to calmly sit with Baby Charlotte or let others have time with her.
Baby Charlotte is, I'm pretty certain, the youngest baby I've yet held. What a wonderful experience.
Apart from that, the rest of the weekend was also really fantastic. It's so good to have my car back, and it was vunderbar to spend time with friends during and around the concert I went to on Friday. On Sunday, my jr. high group went on a "hike" (or a non-strenuous but somewhat lengthy walk) from a house to the nearby river, passing under a railroad bridge and such on the way. It was great walking along with the girls (and some of the boys) and chatting with them, eating with them at lunch, and hanging out more or at least differently than we usually do during normal youth group going-ons.
So those are the highlights. And I also started writing a new poem for Victor, my half brother that just turned 30 on Friday, whom I've never met.
Now it's time to go call Jeff and see if he is free.. (that kinda fits to the mouse club farewell tune). I'll be back Thursday, with lots of new fascinating information to pass along.
Friday, November 01, 2002
11-1-72 -- ???
We will meet someday. I very much look forward to that.
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