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 29, 2003
I do want to stay here, after all. I really do. I've got the jr. high group that I've been working with since moving here over four years ago, and this particular group of students that I'm closer to than any in the past. And I do have some friends in town, and more people that have known me since I moved here and thus can, if I actually talk to them about it, offer some legitimate input on who I was then and who I am now and which of the changes are for the better.
But, the job market here is terrible, and I still am somewhat frustrated by my lack of deep and true connections .. by how I'm still spending most of my time either alone or with newer friends I've known for less than a year because the other people don't call and I can't keep calling them every time .. and I'm running out of creative ways to keep the mask on through it all and yet can't seem to just let it fall and start being *gasp* HONEST when people ask how I'm doing these days.
So, mostly because of the job market factor, but also because of the others and so many more, I really want to move. Yet I really don't, because of the jr. highers mostly. And I do feel at home here in some bizarre way. When I look at the mountains, when I think through about twenty ways to get from point a to point b (I swear my town is shaped like a pentagram), when I can tell other people who to call when they're in a situation I've faced before. I LIVE here. This is my town. I just wouldn't mind as much now as I would have a couple years ago if it wasn't my town anymore..
And there are so many places I could move.
I'm not romanticizing the idea of moving like I used to. I don't think it will solve all my problems or make people like me more. I know the reality of who I am and how *I* will always need to change, nomatter how far away I move from where I was before.. that I won't be moving any further from myself. I understand that. And I know that people will be busy wherever I go, and that my age group will be full of people that are dating or married and all-in-all less likely to hang out with a single person ('cause that's just how it is), especially one they don't know yet. And I know that the job market in America in general isn't fantastic, but it's a whole lot better in a lot of other places. And I know there are problems involved with moving, like setting up connections (though I already have some in each of the places I'm even remotely considering), and starting over on everything from health care to job references. But still, moving might be the only valid option after having lived here four years and still being at such a relatively dead end.
So I'm torn. Very, very torn.. Which, in being torn, also means I'm procrastinating on making any decision and on starting any of the things that will be necessary for my future here or elsewhere, like applying for either a local college or a college in the place I might someday live, or setting up housing anywhere. I mean, I know I'll have to move out of my HUGE one-bedroom apartment to elsewhere in town, whether that elsewhere means I'll have to have a roommate again or not. But I haven't even begun to look for somewhere to move, whether in town again or just general perameters in any of the places I'm considering. Yes, torn.
Similarly, I'm even more torn between the desire to be in Heaven right now, and the desire to keep walking around on earth. I never really understood the grammar of "to live is Christ, to die is gain", as Paul put it, but I certainly understand the concept. I am so unbelievable weary, so overwhelmingly broken. I can't really get into the deeper parts of it right now (though my goal is to open up that much in the near future), but I can assure you that although I am never going to be suicidal again (I am, however, very much aware of and alert to that risk), I am tired of being alive. But I don't want to die, either. When the thought of death hits me (it does more and more frequently the more my life goes on at this rate), it brings up chokes and sobs.. I can't leave my twin brother. I can't leave my jr. highers, or my long-time friends, or my new friends that haven't yet seen the love of Christ enough to believe it. I can't leave the rest of my biological relatives, even though relationships there can be incredibly rocky at times. So I'm torn. I want to be here on earth, loving people and sometimes even realizing that I'm loved by them. (Those who have never faced depression before may not understand that statement for what it really means. Please try, as best you're able. After that, please still just give the benifit of love-anyway.)
A few years ago, I found a word in a roommate's dictionary that I absolutely fell in love with. Dictionary.com's entry says:
"Welt·schmerz (vltshmrts) n. -- Sadness over the evils of the world, especially as an expression of romantic pessimism."
It's a German word, and is most closely synonymous with world-weariness.
I decided to name my start-up promotion company Weltschmerz Promotions, and have used this word in many other ways since. It is one with very deep meaning for me.
So I'm torn. Because I love people but I'm tired of life. And especially because the people I love may not spend eternity the same way I do. And I don't want to leave them.
Now, before you get too worried, let me explain that this is not me going deeper into depression than I have been these past few years. This is actually me coming out of depression after having finally recognized that it wasn't a struggle on the verge fought from the outside; no, it was a struggle with the core fought from too deep inside to even know I was there. This is progress. This is good.
And this is honest.
Thursday, April 17, 2003
I've never done anything like this before. The ceramics room at my sophomore year high school had a big window in which the teachers periodically displayed some better projects, and one of my dragon jars was once in the window.. but few of the students really paid much attention to the window (plus the fact that it was out of the way), and certainly there was no response, nor chance at prizes or such.
My junior year of high school, I made one attempt at airbrushing. I had drawn a picture of a face .. just a face, with her hair filling to the border, and a few inches of her neck showing.. mostly, though, it was her face. Random, imaginary girl, no significance to anything I knew of, drawn in the style of something that caught my eye in the airbrushing instruction booklet I was reading at the time. Very 80s-ish picture, complete with chunky blue highlights in her black hair, blue eyeshadow, and VERY red lips.
So, I decided to make a large airbrush of that picture. I transferred the outline to a gigantic piece of paper (which has now proven to be difficult to frame, indeed.. at 17 by 23 inches, the reaction I've gotten the most is, "wow, that's big") and started spraying. First, the highlights on her hair ended up extending to the main hair part, so that her hair became darker blue with some lighter/silveryer highlights. Then, some blue sprayed onto her face, and -- after several failed attempts at unblue-ing that spot -- her whole face became blue. With very, very red lips. Finally, while I was masking around her eye to NOT turn her whole face green on top of that, I had some white paint on the side of my hand that I didn't know about, which got splotched onto my painting. The work is now called "Excuse Me, Ma'am. You've Got Mayonnaise on Your Cheek."
I love how art doesn't have to be corrected .. just titled so as to seem intentional.
The second piece was done during my freshman year of high school, and is something I cannot describe (because, to my knowledge, it's only been done by people that had this particular teacher or learned from such students, and doesn't look terribly much like anything else more common) except to say that it looks like decorated silver metal cut into shapes or words (in this case, it's a stylized Love and then a cross), raised above the inversely-decorated background.
The final piece I'm entering in tomorrow's are show is a waterpainting I did about three years ago, maybe closer to four now.. My favorite mountain, which I've blogged about muchly, is Sharp Top, and this is "Sunset on Sharptop", featuring the sillhouette of a bare tree against distant mountains during a sunset. It's an incredibly simple picture, but I've loved it since before I made it, and others have enjoyed it as well.
So, there are prizes offered. I'm doubting that I'll win any. Also, there is the chance to sell your work, and I'm offering the watercolor and airbrush, though I wouldn't MIND not selling either of them. Money would be useful right now, though. Not to mention the idea that I have actually SOLD a piece of art that I created myself. That's a different feeling, I imagine. The prize, though, would be incredible. Plus, I'd get to keep my piece. Hmm.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
The sad part of it being that I was actually driving in between two of the organizations that would be able to help me with this month's rent (which was only two weeks late yesterday, btw..). So, I explained to the officer that I'm on food stamps, can't pay my rent, was starting a new job that very day but wouldn't get paid for a while and then would still be treading water.. and that my car wouldn't pass inspection and that I had no way to get it to a point where it would. He gave me a ticket. For the first time in my life, I didn't actually say thanks when he handed it to me. (I know it's goofey, but yes, I have always said thanks -- and not sarcastically, either -- when given a ticket, bill, or any other thing I didn't WANT to be given..) I managed not to cry 'till he'd walked back to his cruiser, but then couldn't hold it back any more. All the stress of all this financial garbage has been too much, and I couldn't handle having yet another item added to the list of stressers.
So, I got over it, went to work, and really enjoy my job. In that way that I know most people really wouldn't like it at all, but it's SO nice to actually be using some of the skills that I have, and to be working independently and everything. So yes, I like my job. And the fact that it's only a 200 hour contract (just enough to get them to where they should be with their records) means that I don't have to start thinking of doing this for the next year.. no, just 'till the end of June. That's not long at all. Which makes it that much more enjoyable.
On that note, I'd better be off to work again. And then tomorrow, once I finish the morning babysitting, I'll be there again. And then on Friday, most of the day. It's nice to have somewhere to be.
Monday, April 07, 2003
There's a thing in Virginia called the Virginia Employment Commission, which I'm not going to bother trying to explain, except to say that it's a federally-backed state program for employment resources. All people that get food stamps that don't have (enough) employment are required to participate in a job search, the first step of which is applying at the VEC. So, I went to the office. To cut out the middle of the story, the gist is that I mentioned having done some data entry work, and they asked how my skills were in that, and then that they needed somebody to do data entry in that very office. After much deliberation and committee meetings (because this office is run by a consortium of local agency representatives), I was hired. Yay!
The best part is that I'll have 20 flexible hours per week, which means both that my bills will be paid easily, plus that I don't have to leave my tutoring and day-babysitting jobs, which means I can continue to meet the needs of other people, which makes me feel really stinkin' good.
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying, because there are still some other rough areas of my life right now, but for the job, praise the Lord.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
"...But she's cool anyway."
I've never actually been a "local" in a college town before, nor hung out with too many non-locals that are specifically proud of such. But now, apparently, I've earned my right to be accepted among the college folk despite the fact that I live in town whether or not I'm in school.
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
So, elsewhats, things are going better. And I've gotta get down to the office where I may be working, so that I can find out if I'll be working there or not. In the meantime, my tutoring hours picked up significantly when the main English tutor left for another job, and I've realized more and more how much I love tutoring and other one-on-one-or-a-few training/teaching type jobs. Who knows, maybe I could end up earning enough money to survive that way someday.
I'm off now. But I'll be posting more throughout April. And more stories, too, instead of just all these silley updates. Thank you for your continued prayers.
You could say to someone, "Hey, Patty posted a blog entry! It's, like, the first one in over a month!"
And then that person would wait for you to say, "April Fool's," except that you wouldn't say that, because it wouldn't be. So instead, it would be more like a DOUBLE April Fool's joke, or at least something to chuckle about.
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