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
Friday, June 27, 2003
I am excited about all of these things.
And then on the last day of the fest, I'll be shaving my head.
So, this trip to Raleigh was to feel things out and figure out whether or not I'm going to move down here. I think that I have decided on a certain yes. I visited with the folks whose church plant I may be joining on Tuesday evening, and really appriciated that meeting and that group of people very much. I got to talk to both Dawn and Jamie for a few hours (and Dawn and I watched The Ring.. since she lives alone now and doesn't want to watch such a movie by herself, my visit was the perfect time. 'Cept that I don't watch scary movies, generally, because they just don't appeal to me.. I was all about renting it, though. And we made it through with the lights off and no screams.. just a number of gasps and a lot of me covering my mouth in intensity.. As I said to Dawn a while after it was over, "I've been having a lot of nightmares lately, so maybe those and this movie will cancel eachother out".. and actually, it seems like it did. I don't remember having any nightmares at all that night or anytime since. Which I think is stinkin' fantastic.) Anyway.. so I got to talk to them a lot, and they're the ones that told me about this church plant and have been working with it since it was thought of, and they're both very good friends. Not just good friends of MINE.. but very good friends in general. It was great to have time to just talk in a more relaxed atmosphere, and Jamie took me out to Franklin Street/Carrboro today, which I hadn't previously seen a whole lot of. We chatted for hours over Armadillo Grill fare and then strolled into a brand new Celtic items shop at which Jamie bought a couple of wedding presents and where we had a very pleasant conversation with the owner. If I get into making more jewelry, I'll bring some down there to see about selling it.. but either way, I very much enjoyed the place and her products.
I also got to hang out with The Raleigh Contingency, which consists of Matt, Corey, and Jenny who I met during the Potomac Celtic Festival weekend staying at Barbara's. They met Barbara a week before and were invited up for the fest, and made up three others of the 10 people staying at the house that weekenr (not even counting Barbara and Bernard). Fun folks, and I've been having very lovely visits with them this trip.
Meanwhile, a new friend here owns a multi-media company (which is doing VERY well) and may have a job for me within the next three months, which really takes care of my concerns about finding a job with a shaved head. I figured if it was a problem, I'd be decidedly not bald within a month or month and a half anyway, but I was still wondering. Along with that, it could take care of my concerns about finding a job in general, especially in a new city where my contacts are fewer.
And on Tuesday morning, I talked with my landlord about maybe extending the lease through August so that I wouldn't have to move three weeks after returning from Cornerstone and with so much still to work out. She said that'd be just fine, so that's another big relief.
Oh, and I've now officially put over 30,000 miles on Gilbert Wayne Ellesar within the past 18 months. Yay for road trips! (Fortunately, I'm carpooling with a friend from church to CStone, which is yet another huge relief. Gilbert prolly would not have made it.)
Gilbert is on his very, very, very last wheels, and I've currently got no stinkin' clue how I could possibly get another car. But, hey, Gilbert practically dropped into my lap, too, so I may as well not stress out over it.
And now, I'm going to go get some very pleasant sleep and then take off for babysitting. Please do pray for me (those that pray) over the next week and a half (or forever) and pray especially that God will grant me wisdom and guidance about whether moving here or staying in town would bring the most glory to Him.
I may not have another chance to blog before I return from Cornerstone (though I might, perhaps, if I really want to from babysitting..) but I'll have some good chunks of time (I hope) afterwards. Of course, since my hotmail inbox is gonna be FLOODED with all the stinkin' spam in the world when I get back, emails may well bounce if sent during that week. Plus, it may take me a bit longer to sort through stuff. Ah, well.
I will be blogging a great deal about a number of major life issues (issues in the good and/or nuetral sense) when I get back, though.
Monday, June 23, 2003
Well, mostly bald in twelve days (except for the sorta mohawk that I'll have for just under a week), then completely bald soon after. Bic'ed.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Virginia, being a "commonwealth" (which is just another way of saying communist) state, basically seeks to reward people for the more bad choices they make. If, for example, you have an unwise moment and end up getting pregnant, you can get a lot of help. Then when your baby is born, you can get even more. (Be warned, though, if your baby is not born alive, you will have to repay all the help you got in the first place.) However, if at that point you decide to get your life moving in a progressive and decent direction again (if it was thrown off by the pregnancy, which doesn't always happen) you will be strongly discouraged from doing so, and/or threatened with the complete and sudden removal of your support, instead of having it while you work on getting yourself back on your feet. So, you realize that you'd be better off just living off the government. Well, in order to KEEP living off the government, you've gotta get pregnant again. Then, when that baby is born, you can have cable, high-speed internet, cell phones, delicacy foods, brand-stinkin' new cars, and many other enjoyments in life to go with the basics that they will also give you only if you have children, so long as you keep a low enough profile and don't have to make too many changes to your file.
Each "good" choice, that ends up with fewer personal regrets and works towards a better tomorrow, is penalized.. and each not-so-good choice is rewarded.
What a fantastic way to be. It's not like I'm against them helping people that have made mistakes or bad choices in the past.. just that if someone doesn't want help, you can't help them, and when someone doesn't want to change, why condone what they're doing when it is bad for society? When a small-time drug dealer can get a worse prison sentence than a rapist, and yet a crackhead can get more government benefits than an upstanding citizen so long as the crackhead isn't caught by the police themselves...
Friday, June 13, 2003
For example, to try to get a job that I should not have, or to get the job and try to keep it, and then to not get it or to lose it and yet not have been the one that quit.
So, there have been times when I was interested in somebody that I had no business being interested in, but it still hurt when he wasn't interested in me. And sure, that's completely natural and only human and reasonable and all that. But even so, if I have no business being interested in somebody in the first place, what right have I do get upset when nothing happens?
I am a fool. I have been realizing this more and more lately. Not in the woe-is-me,-I-should-curl-up-under-a-rock-and-rot kinda way.. just in the observation of fact, the way that I know I have a lot of hair and changing-color eyes. I am a fool. I do things that are foolish.
And that, my dear friends, is why Christ's changing power is so incredible. Even a fool like me can bring glory to God.. even a fool like me can be made wise and merciful.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The most exciting thing, though (for one dollar more) was this beautiful, metallic-blue typewriter on which I am typing this note. [ed's note: obviously, I am retyping it on a computer, but I'm quoting what I did type on my typewriter the night before last.] It's an electric Smith-Corona Coronet Super12, and is in fairly decent shape, though it's certainly got a few quirks (like overlapping letters and certain keys that don't work so well.) It makes this beautiful noise as I type, the sturdier-than-on-a-computer hitting-of-the-keys combined with the satisfying clickety-clack of the typebars hitting the paper-covered carraige. Of course, there is no backspace.. or rather, the backspace isn't so effective. Also, I have to type slower, not only because of the lack of backspace, but also because the letter overlap is more prominent at my current typing pace. There is power return, and I'm learning to wait for the carraige to return instead of starting to type during the process, which makes a bigfat mess of things. I'm getting better at typing quickly and accurately without using backspace (my accuracy has always been high, but that's partly because of how quickly I can hit the backspace key without even realizing it), and I've already gotten the apostrophe and some other keys to work, which is nice. Still a number of quirks, and this page is looking rather messy overall [ed's note: I SO wish that I could make this blog entry look exactly like the page does, what with the overlapping letters, the type-overs, etc], but I LOVE my new typewriter. I've named her Galya Tzigana, the first being a derivitive of a Scandinavian (I think) word for Shining Brightly -- and also the Hebrew name meaning Redeemed by God -- and the latter is a Hungarian word for Gypsy. She's a portable typewriter, btw, with a case in great shape.
So yes, when I use Galya to type out things that I want to put online or email to someone, I will have to type it out again. But it will be worth it, to have the experience of REALLY typing, and I'll mostly be using her for letters and journals anyway. I tried to explain what I meant by REALLY typing to some of the jr. highers that were at the share fair who were amazed at my excitement over a typewriter. Using one of the most useless-to-a-jr.-higher analogies I could've come up with, I told them it was like the difference between driving an automatic and a stick. The one you just drive/type on.. the other, you experience. The one is meant to run efficiently and quietly so that you don't really know it's there.. the other is bound to have quirks that endear you to the car/typewriter all that much more.
Yay for typewriters!!
Monday, June 09, 2003
That is, folks would rather trust me with their children than with their own hearts.
Which makes perfect sense.. because only so many people would actually hurt a child, whether through intention or severe neglect.. while every day, people hurt others through both such means.
I was just struck by this thought last night, while I was sitting on the porch where I'm dog/housesitting, drinking a glass of Chardonnay and swinging. There was a storm last night, beautiful and calm, with frequent lightening flashes and extra rain noise where the gutters are broken on this house. It was so peaceful, sitting there on the swing with the cat climbing around on the porch railings and the dog running around in the front yard. I'd spent the evening typing on my "new" typewriter (which I'll be blogging about tomorrow), and this was a fantastic way to finish it up.
Office is closing now, be back tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
She said that it wasn't her call about what should be said by whom to the students and to talk to Brian (the youth pastor), and so we went right then to the high school room. Brian and I stood in the hallway talking for the next forty-fiveish minutes, and there were a lot of things that were fairly resolved about it, and a lot of things that are still frustrating or unclear. At the end of the conversation, though, at my request, he did go into the jr. high room as they were finishing up the lesson, and announced the following (and this is my paraphrased summary) to the students:
We've had lots of leaders come and go over the past 8 years, and sometimes leaders need a break. Some of them are voluntary and some of them are at my request, and that's what's happening with Patty right now. I've asked her to take a break to work on one particular area of her life, for three months. But she's still here, so you can talk to her after church or whenever you see her, she just won't be at jr. high events."
He then told them something I wasn't expecting, which I really appriciated. And that was to think about some of their best memories from jr. high (especially if I happened to be involved) and tell them to me or write me notes, because that will help me to get through this time.
When he was finished with that, I asked him if I'd be able to go to/help with jr. high camp, which will fall during the proposed three month break. He said (as I figured he would and hoped he wouldn't) that I should stick to the three months, whatever that means giving up. So, no camp. No lock-ins or campouts. If I don't end up moving and I do end up being a jr. high leader again at the start of August (which is when the three months would be up), it'll be just in time to watch the 8th graders (including a couple of girls and many guys that I'm close to) move up into high school and the new 6th graders come in.
As I walked out of the room on Sunday, after some brief interactions with students and other leaders, and with some of the students walking with me, I still really wanted to cry again. Just an overwhelming feeling of wanting to cry. But I didn't. I talked with a bunch of the jr. highers and some of my peers, and then went home to clean my house so that I could host my former roommate's birthday party that night when I got home from a wedding reception and a church meeting mostly about our missionaries. The reception was beautiful, and the meeting was thought-provoking, and the party was lots of fun.
Last night, at a local musician's concert, one of the new female jr. high leaders was there. She's been working with the group (including writing a good chunk of the thursday night lessons for them, which she does exceptionally well) for something like 6 months now, and is great with the kids. She's active enough for the boys, and fun enough for the girls, and everything about her working with the group is great. She told me what had been said at the leaders' meeting (which was to tell the kids that I'm taking a break right now if they asked) and that the letter I had written had been made available for those that wanted to read it. She had opted out of reading it, preferring instead to talk to me directly, and we got to talk about it a fair bit last night. It was a really good chat, and it helped me to feel like at least there's going to be less misleading.
Music is, as always, one of the best things in my life, along with the people that richify my days. I am continually amazed at how a song can mean so much to you, and relate exactly to your life ... and then suddenly, you somehow relate EVEN more to one subtle nuance that just hadn't really clicked before, and then the song is so much more to you. It is a speaker for your soul, a friend, a rope, a resting place, so much more than it had been previously.
"And i'm dying inside to leave you with more than just cliches. There is a me you would not recognize, dear. Call it the shadow of myself. And if the music starts before I get there, dance without me. You dance so gracefully. I really think I'll be ok. They've taken their toll, these latter days." (From Over the Rhine's Latter Days)
Profile: From the Heart
Read it and be inspired.
There are so many chilluns up to really good things these days, so let's encourage the media and ourselves to pay more attention to them than to the ones that make terribly bad decisions (whether in cries for help or otherwise).
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