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, December 24, 2002
Emily's family is out of town. They're one of the families that I've known since moving here, and Emily is currently one of my junior high students. So when they asked me a month ago if I could take care of their pets while they're gone, it was easy to agree. They've got two dogs, three birds, two gerbils, a hamster, several cats, and a rabbit.
Zoe, the older of the dogs, tends to run out front every chance she gets. Their back yard is fenced in, but the front is open and she can run around the entire neighborhood if she can just get past the garage door. Yesterday, she did get out (I forgot to close the door when I came in, so as soon as she finished her foot, she bolted) and I went out to get her. Winnie, the very large puppy, came with me, and I didn't think to grab a leash for her. I could see Zoe, and that seemed the important part at the moment.
Winnie went across the road to check out a Rottweiler that was standing in his yard, and all my calling to her (while trying to keep an eye on Zoe) were in vain. I watched carefully to see if she and the Rott were likely to go at it, and then realized she was turning to come back across. I tried to tell her to stop, but of course she wasn't huge on obedience, and certainly didn't have the sense to look both ways. Actually, she did look right at the pickup truck before running out in front of it.
So she ran right into the front end, and then the back tire hit her. She tumbled some, and then rolled around in the street, yelping and howling.
As soon as I realized what was about to happen, I half-crumpled. Watching all of this unfold, I was nearly on the ground myself. I don't think I've ever seen anything so horrid in person, and the movies haven't quite desensitized me so much as to not be strongly affected.
I ran to her once the other traffic was gone -- the truck she ran into and the car behind it had both pulled over and their drivers were getting out -- but couldn't quite figure out where her rolling and I would intercept, so I got a bit close and she bit my leg. So there I was, sobbing, crumpled, holding my leg, and terrified. I managed to reach out to the top of her head once she stopped rolling, and she was just laying there, yelping but otherwise mostly still. The drivers came over, and started to tell me that she had just run out, but I stopped them and said "I know, I know it wasn't your fault, I know you couldn't stop. I'm not upset with you at all. I just don't know what to do. She's not my dog." Well, that's what it sounded like in my head, but between my crying and my racing thoughts, I'm sure it sounded very different to them.
Eventually, we got her onto a rug I brought out from Emily's house, and they carried her to my car. I got Zoe back into the garage, shut her in securely, and took Winnie to the nearest animal hospital after a quick call to Emily's family to make sure it was the right one. Yes, that was the same place they took all their animals for care, so it was the best place to bring her. Before finding that out, though, Josh answered the phone. Josh is Emily's oldest brother, and was in jr. high when I started working with this youth group. I had to hold it all together to ask him to talk to his mom, which was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. When I told her what happened, though, she didn't have the slightest shred of bitterness or frustration in her voice. She's continued to be incredibly understanding throughout our conversations, and I don't know how I'd make it through all this if it weren't for her being so loving.
However, it's still hard. From the moment it was about to happen, I've been having thoughts constantly about what I could have done, what I should have done. I could've shut her in the garage before going after Zoe. I could have put her on a leash to walk her with me. I could have crossed the street myself when she was checking out the Rottweiler. But then there was nothing I could do.
Winnie is pretty ok, considering everything. She has a fractured hip, which will heal quite quickly since she is just a puppy -- won't even need a cast. She had a few deep lacerations, too, which they stapled up and wrapped, but that's the extent of her injuries. I stopped by the animal hospital to see her today, and she's looking quite good, actually.
I'm so thankful to God that she wasn't injured worse, and that she'll heal so quickly. I'm so thankful that the accident didn't end up causing other cars to crash (people have a tendency to drive rather fast on this road) or any other injuries besides to Winnie. I'm so thankful that nothing further happened, and that all will be repaired in due time.
But I'm still having a hard time with the guilt.
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Aah, yes, it has been a very good trip, and will continue to be a very good time.
I'll post more later, but for now I'll just tell you that these days have been filled with laughter (in Stanton, Nashville, and Raleigh) and I'm very glad to be able to say so.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
I've had excellent hosts at each home in which I stayed, and I've taken a number of fun pictures (something I usually forget while caught up in the fun) of various friends.
The Andrew Peterson Christmas concert on Sunday was fantastic, and it was a great chance to see a lot of musicians that I'd never seen before.
Tomorrow I drive to Raleigh to see Lord of the Rings: Two Towers with some friends down there, and then a benifit concert on Thursday night. Friday I drive home and on Saturday the jr. highers go to see Lord of the Rings in the theater (much better theater at a town an hour away than in ours) and then have our Christmas party. I'm quite looking forward to all this, and knowing that I go home to no typical obligations (no classes, no job.. just jr. high leadership which is absolute choice .. and a dirty house, which will be cleaned in short order) has helped this trip be relaxing despite the somewhat hectic moments.
So, thank you for prayers and patience. I'll be checking my email again sometime after I get home, so for those of you whose emails are sitting in my box these days, please continue to be patient. I will reply. I just haven't had the time before now.
It's nice to be able to think clearly.
Friday, December 13, 2002
During the show, Robbie sang one of the songs that I've thought was beautiful since getting the CD it's on, but haven't really come to appriciate. That was probably mostly because I wasn't entirely sure what, or who, it was about. While introducing the song tonight, though, he mentioned it being for his sister and told of a few little snippets of otherwise unrelated fun having to do with her, and that all put an entirely different perspective on the song.
It also made me think about this incredibly gorgeous tribute to his sister and to their relationship, and about how incredible it would be if my older brother, who writes songs, wrote something like that for me. Likewise, if my twin brother, who plays the saxaphone (all of them) incredibly well, were to compose a piece for me.
Then I started thinking about the two greatest, most cherished things ever said to me, one from each of my brothers. A couple of years ago, after some very difficult circumstances and very heartbreaking weeks, my twin brother and I had what still remains one of our longest conversations ever. It was over the phone, which normally consists of about half an hour of silence and then a sentence or two, and then more silence, and then something about not running up the phone bill. Neither of us are phone people; There are very few people that I can talk to on the phone for more than about ten minutes without getting antsy. Most people, even the ones I enjoy talking to, have to carry the conversation. (This is very much unlike me in person and unlike the me that's online when I actually have time to chat.) Peter is quite similar, except that he's also extremely introverted in person and only slightly less-so online.
So we're talking for about an hour and a half, and he's revealing a lot of emotion and personal thoughts in such a way as he never had before. He told me about remembering a lot of things from our childhood that he had previously not remembered, including certain things I had told him about that he said were absolutely untrue. After talking about this and various related topics, he said the most incredible thing: I trust you, more than I trust anyone else.
In the same vein, my older brother once borrowed my sketchbook while I was living with him. When he gave it back, there was a new picture inside (apart from the ones for which he'd borrowed it, which he'd then ripped out to give to other people). It was a somewhat distorted, roughly-drawn picture, not the best example of his talents. But it was a self-portrait, and it was how he really saw himself. To the side of the picture, he'd written, "This is supposed to be me. Scary, huh?"
On the other side, in very carefully etched letters:
You seem to feel
Like you hide in my shadow
But you are the light that cast it
I still have this picture, of course. And I still treasure it, as well as the memory of Peter confiding his trust in me, above any other verbal (including written) interactions I've ever had apart from certain prayers and words from God.
Despite the distance, and despite the lack of frequent communication, my brothers mean more to me than anyone else in this world.
These days, I'm weary. My term at Target, combined with the hectic world of trying to figure out who I am becomming and who I would rather, in light of Christ's formative powers, and also combined with the one class I still had, trying to help my classmates, and working with the jr. high group --- all of these things have worn me down. I wouldn't give up the jr. high group for anything, nor the desire to seek who Christ made me to be above what may be easier in the now. However, I can feel it inside. Like in Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo tells Gandalf that he's getting old, he can feel it in his bones, like he's being stretched. That's how I've felt for a while. Worn-down.
I look forward to time of relaxing and renewing during this season, since I've left Target. (Yes, you all haven't heard about that just yet. The easiest answer is that they couldn't grant my request for time off for the trip I'm currently on to Nashville and Chapel Hill/Durham, and I couldn't give up my trip since I've been planning the Nashville part for the past year. There's a lot more to it, of course, mostly a lack of respect on the higher-ups' part.) My class has ended, I've got plenty of money to pay all my late-December/early-January bills, and I have much less to do. (It'll be significantly harder for me to access the internet, though, because campus will be closed. However, what time I do have will be better spent.)
I'll let you know in a few weeks whether or not the relaxing has done anything to combat the weariness. In the meantime, though, when I weep, I weep as a woman who is longing for her Home.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
This weekend was relatively uneventful except for work and the usual. The house church I babysit for had a game night Sunday instead of the normal house church meeting, and I brought my TriBond game. This is one of my favorite games, at least in the misc. catagory, because the logical connection is how I think best, so I'm great at the game. Likewise, there are enough trivia catagories, which I stink at, to make sure I wouldn't be bringing this game just because I'm good at it.
I'm excited about the upcoming trip to Nashville for the Andrew Peterson Christmas show, especially because it'll be started off by seeing Eddie From Ohio in Staunton on the 12th, and ended by returning here to see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with my jr. high group. Then on the following Thursday, down to Raleigh to see some friends and other musicians in concert there, and then we're fully into the Christmas week.
Between work (I have tonight off, which means I get to spend it with some of my girl friends! Yay for girls' night out!), finishing up my one class, jr. high, and the few other things I do with my time, life is a bit hectic right now. But it's good-hectic, and it'll be good-not-so-hectic come the new year.
And here is my official announcement: I want to go on the road with a band (there are several I have in mind) in the spring. I'm getting restless here, and if I don't go on the road this spring, I'm going to want to move again in the fall. So, that's my official announcement. It's been on my mind for a while. I'd be doing merch and/or road management type stuff, so I wouldn't be baggage. But if this is the sort of thing I want to do with my life, there's no point to continuing in the just-for-now job and the nothing-to-do-with-my-career classes when I could be starting on my desired occupation.
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