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
Monday, May 12, 2003
Because I am cynical. I am jaded. And usually, I am right.
The hard part is that for the past four years, especially the past two, there have been a lot of things in my life that should have tipped people off to the fact that all is not well in the realm of Patty. That maybe they could step in and see what's going on, instead of making guesses from the outside judged by what they see flying over the barricades. It's like hearing a catfight, seeing a few chunks of fur flying over a fence, and trying to figure out exactly what the cats look like and which is winning.
One very interesting assumption that people make when I talk about the battle going on inside me -- or any such metaphor -- is that I'm still fighting. They assume not only that I'm on the good side, but that I'm on a side at all. In reality, most of the time, it's been me passed out from exhaustion in the middle of the battlefield, there for the taking of whichever side has enough of their medic crew left. Wouldn't really matter to me either way, 'cause lying on a stretcher is better than falling on a spear.
So, there have been these red flags (and white flags) going up all over my life, and no one took any interest. And then when I finally get to the point of actively pursuing help -- not just kinda poking and prodding to see what might be available and then cruising on by for fear of asking and not receiving -- I am penalized for admitting that my life is screwed up, that I am screwed up. I am told that others locally have been reaching out (and I don't want to discount those that have, but they have been few and far between, and it just hasn't worked that often) and I still don't feel connected, and that is a problem. Well, yes, it's a problem. And I would ask in return, since you're so sure people have been reaching out, how many times YOU invited me over for dinner, or just to hang out. How many times did your buddies, the families you approve of, ask me to join them for a movie or lunch? Who do YOU think has been reaching out to me? Because I can guarantee you that those you think have been are not the ones that have. They're just the ones that say they have so they can sleep better at night.
I have not been ANGRY.. and I mean angry... in a very long time. I have been through a lot of pretty messed up stuff, and I've been upset, but I haven't been ANGRY like this. I haven't had reason to be. I never use profanity, and yet I've been thinking with a lot of profanity about this particular situation for the past two days. These people that completely removed themselves from my life, completely distanced themselves, and then, whether intentionally or not, distanced others from me as well.. these same people are now removing me from EVERYTHING that matters to me, that really matters.
In January, I told him that I would step down as a jr. high leader if I needed to, if that's what he was saying he thought was best. And he said no, I didn't need to do that. I just needed to get better. And I have gotten INFINATELY better. But I think now that what he meant was that I needed to go back to being numb and apathetic about my own life instead of admitting that things are screwed up. Because once I really get better, and once I finally get up the nerve to ask for help again, to once again lay my entire heart and fear and vulnerability on the line, that is when they drop an anvil.. not just an axe, because an axe would sever painlessly and be done.. an anvil, so that it will sit there, cutting off circulation, slowly and painfully draining the life from my veins. They say "you've had too much trouble with paying your bills over the past four years, and you've not been connected to enough people, and you should not be a jr. high leader, and you are the one to blame for both the financial and social trouble, because we have tried to help you." And I say BULLSHIT!
I say you are liars, and that you have not tried to help when it meant stepping out of your comfort zone. You have stood watching and judging from a distance, not holding me accountable and not loving with justice and mercy.
To put it into the terms I know well because I have explained them over and over and over to dozens of jr. high students who have grown because of these terms:
We talk about life in the Kingdom. We talk about seeking our kingdom or the Kingdom of God, and about helping other people's kingdoms to grow. We talk about God invading our Kingdoms and how it's uncomfortable but it makes our kingdoms bigger and better and stronger.
You didn't just invade my kingdom. You burned it to the ground, pillaging as you went. You waited 'till I had given you the grand tour, 'till I had finally resolved that my secret stashes of treasure should be open for the taking, and you took it all, and you threw it into bogs where it would do no one good. And you tell me now that you will not dance on the ashes, but you will be back at midnight, scaring vultures and buzzards away so that you can make sure there is nothing left.
There is nothing left.
I have seen, again, why masks are so appealing in the first place. Because people can tolerate us, even think they love us, when we wear masks. Because we are comfortable with masks. And because when we start slipping them down so that we can peak over their brims instead of out between the miniscule eyeholes that cover our real eyes, the real mirrors to our souls.. when we slip them down, they are torn completely from our hands so that our faces, in all their hideous beauty, are exposed for all to see. And after all our protection is gone, people cannot be around us. People cannot be around me.
They didn't even give me some time to work my way out of the ministry, to explain what was going on to the kids, with whom I've become very close.
Every other single female leader that has been involved for more than a few weeks has disappeared without warning to the land of "I'm-dating-this-fantastic-guy-now-and-I-no-longer-have-time-for-you." I have been left to explain to these girls, because no explanation was given by the other leaders.
And now I'm not given the chance to explain for myself. I'm not leaving you for a guy, I'm not leaving you for school or work or anything. It is not my choice, and if it were my choice, I still would never have left so suddenly and harshly.
I can still remember so vividly the time when Morgan had just come into jr. high, and I was over at her house. I've been friends with her family for years, since I used to live right down the street from them and thus spent a lot of time with them. Her younger sister, Madison, was in third grade and was talking about how Morgan must have so much fun being in jr. high, being with me so often. I was amused by that thought in and of itself, because Morgan and I had actually spent some bit less time together since she had moved up into jr. high, but that was Madison's perspective, and I was glad to know it. So then Madison, who is not an emotional child, and who is very much a tomboy, started talking about how it wasn't fair that Morgan got to be in jr. high now and she had to wait so long and I prolly wasn't even going to be a leader there anymore by the time she was old enough. And I said that I would be a jr. high leader at this church untill God called me away. She misheard me, and replied "Who is this guy? I'm gonna kill him and he'll never take you away!" .. I didn't know she had misheard, so I laughed in a sad sort of way, and said "Madison, hunney, you can't kill God.. and .." I trailed off, not sure how to ask why she'd want to, and she burst out into laughter after realizing that I had said God, not guy, and we cried together a little. Yes, God has a right to call me away, even in Madison's mind, even when no guy can have that right.
And now, Madison, with one year left for you in elementary school, I am leaving. I have to go. And I would have gone even if I had not been told I was no longer a jr. high leader, but I would have gone after the next three months, after talking with the kids about their end-of-the-school-year excitement, after jr. high camp, after watching the eighth graders move up into the high school group and the new 6th graders join the middle school group. I would have gone after a great summer of time on the river and going to the movies, and birthdays. Summer has always been one of the best, closest times in the jr. high group, and now it is not mine to share with them.
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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