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, January 28, 2003
I had a really fantastic weekend, and am having a good week despite still trying to kick the same cold I had last week, and thus staying in bed for most of yesterday. I did put away the dishes that I'd washed (it's so nice to have counter space again, and a sparkling clean stove, and a nearly empty sink.. between my own chaotic schedule and the girls that stayed over at my place, and the couple of times that folks came over for a meal, the dishes were piling up more than I ever wanted them to), I finished one book and am halfway through another, got lots of sleep that was more restful than a good deal of what I've had lately, and I started braiding my hair into the little braids I always get in the mood to do when I'm about to have a significant change in my hairstyle. I've pretty much decided to not shave my head 'till during or after Cornerstone this year, because the folks I see there every year have never seen long-haired Patty. So early- to mid-July won't be so bad, though I have already gotten back into the stage of getting occasional headaches from how thick and heavy my hair is. It'll be worth it, though, to have a few more months than I was planning on, so long as it doesn't get too heavy. I think it'll be great. I'm really excited about shaving it again, too, though.
This Saturday is my twin brother's birthday, so that's pretty exciting, too.
When we were growing up, we always had joint parties, but we haven't been remotely near eachother for our birthday for the past 5 years. This year, again, we won't be seeing eachother, and I'm not even sure when we next will. It's been nearly two years now since I last saw him, at my grandmother's funeral. Oh, I miss the kid, and I sure hope he has a good birthday.
The other thing that's been on my mind a lot lately, with the approaching February first, is that one year ago on that day, the mother of one of my closest friends passed away. I was, at times, very close to her as well, and I miss her dearly even though we didn't have much contact after I moved up here. (Story of everyone .. she wasn't an internet person and I've never been a phone or letter person, so non-face-to-face contact was rare; thus we really only kept in touch when I was visiting FL or such.) Since I haven't sucessfully gotten in touch with Jon since I last saw him early in January of last year -- though I sent him a card when I heard about his mother and though I've tried to reestablish contact several other times -- I am wondering intensely how he is doing these days, how he's managing .. and I'm crying for him at the pain he must still feel over having to watch his mother be wasted away by cancer and it's treatments. I'm glad for him that he got to spend so much time with her in those last few months of her life, and I'm glad for us all that we'll be praising our Jesus with her in Heaven, but I can't even imagine what he felt during those months, or has been feeling since. She was a remarkable woman, and his loss is still more heavy on my heart than any excitement about my upcoming birthday can yet overcome. I know that these thoughts will not be so starkly in front of me on Saturday itself, but they have been for most of this month and will be throughout this week and the next few, I'm sure.
On brighter notes, though -- I haven't any plans for birthday celebrations, but I am making progress in cleaning my apartment, and in seeking income (indeed, also in actually FINDING income), and finally in undergoing the reformation of my old self into the character of Christ.
I have hinted at, but don't believe I've publically announced, that I've had an extremely dark struggle with depression over the past year, especially within the past couple of months. It was most aparent in the apathy that consumed me, which was virtually undetectable to those close to me because of the more mild self that has appeared since moving here, and also because I'm so used to putting on masks that I don't even realize when I'm doing so. I try to prevent the action when I notice it's there, but I don't notice something that comes so naturally to me very often, and thus have been carrying on like life is grand while inside I've felt little and enjoyed less. That may seem like it should have been before the brighter note catagory, but indeed this is the right place for it. Because, after many false attempts at convincing myself (and certain readers) that the struggle was over or was not as drastic as I knew it to be -- certainly, apathy is a hard thing to proove to the apathetic eye, and is a subtle little creature not easily seen as the vile, dangerous beast it really is -- I believe that I really have gained new ground in the battle, and that I really have entered into a section of my walk with Christ that I have never before trod. I'm genuinely glad at the change, and gladness is an emotion, like all other emotions, I haven't felt more than a pinch of in some time. I realized recently that I was truly happy -- not just SUPPOSED to be happy -- for a couple of friends that got engaged. I realized that I was excited about a promotion a freind got at work, that I was, and am, sad for a friend that is having some serious struggles.
I'm not sure what all of the means are that God used to bring about this change, but I'm more thankful for it than for most other gifts God has blessed me with. Depression is a dark place, not understood by those that haven't entered into it, and for the latter I'm mostly glad although sometimes frustrated by the fact. But now, I'm back in the world of love and feelings and thoughts that matter and life that is to be LIVED, rather than muddled through.
Thus, I'm that much more determined to pursue what I want as possible careers and not waste any more time with junk jobs that barely even pay the bills and don't allow me to save, and thus have no real purpose in my life. I am more determined to be a good jr. high leader within my group, and to love the kids with all my heart even though they'll grow up and go into high school and I won't be their leader any more. I can hope to be their friend, still, and possibly even something of a mentor.. But I can only hope for that if I allow Christ to make me worthy of such trust, and can only accept such a title if I also accept the grace that makes it possible. I am more determined to move into my apartment, finally, whether it's for a few more months or maybe for several years. I don't need to worry about my energy expenditure anymore, because using energy gives more energy, while fretting about not having enough is draining.
So, life may always be a mixed blessing, but God is faithful and just, and my prayers that I would not just muddle through life for as long as I may be here have been answered in abundance. I don't HAVE any more now than I did a week or a month ago, (indeed, a month ago I had more, worldly speaking!) but I have a new (old) appriciation that never should have vanished in the first place.
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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