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, August 25, 2003
I did something that Saturday, but I can't quite seem to remember what. I think I went out to a movie with some friends at the dollar theater and then out with other friends until the wee hours, but I may have just stayed up here watching a movie or something. Oh, perhaps that was the night that I got sucked into some reruns of some old show or other (I really can't remember what) and just kept on 'till too early in the morning. At any rate, Sunday was of course church, and then I went to a friends' house to meet her new roommate and participate in said new roommate's screenplay reading. She wrote the screenplay about a semi-local legend who was said to have the ability to see spirits and such, and lived (I think) around the turn of the century. So it was a historical script, and the bunch of us that gathered each read for a few characters, and it was lots of fun and laughter and many interesting new facts. I had to duck out early, though (in the bad form that is entirely too usual for me these days) because I needed to leave for North Carolina. I made it to Raleigh by 6, just in time for the service of the church plant I'll be working with in the Chapel Hill area when I move down. I really enjoyed it, and a lot of things hit home during the sermon and the hymns (the current worship leader enjoys slower hymns, many of which I wasn't terribly familiar with despite my hymn-laden upbringing) that brought a good deal of perspective to my current life and my confused mind.
Monday down there was fairly uneventful in that lots-of-internal-processing-but-not-much-external-action kinda way. Then Tuesday I had my court date for the ticket I got in the accident I was in back in July. When I finally got to the courthouse, and eventually figured out that I was supposed to check in at the desk in the lobby, I was told that all I needed to do was bring proof that my insurance had handled anything I was responsible for and the DA would drop my case. Rock the snot on. So that was done in almost no time, and then I went by the place where my totalled car has been garaged since the accident, though they weren't sure where my car was at the time (they found it the next day) and so I didn't see it. I had sort-of been hoping to in order to more fully realize what all happened during the accident and force the memories so that I can deal with them appropriately (the memories of my other accident three years ago still come back sometimes.. mostly because I can't remember it all yet), but I suppose the pictures some friends took of the car before it was taken to the garage will have to do. That night, I went to the new-member meeting for the church plant, which was mostly the same crowd as the similar meeting I went to a few months ago while trying to decide about moving or not. On Wednesday, I spent some time with a fellow new-member (who is also the Pastor's wife) and her son, and a moment with her mother-in-law, who is Bengali-Indian in decent and was asking me about shaving my head since her hair is thinning and thus she's been thinking about shaving hers. I then met the Pastor for coffee and to talk about logistics of me moving here and a few other things, most of which I've blogged about in the near past (ie, the drama at my current church and my immediate health concerns). It was a great day altogether, and then I was driving back home to babysit starting at 5:30. I left with plenty of time to spare, but hit a huge traffic jam just outside town in a stretch where I didn't know my way well enough to find a different route. The ironic thing about it being that I nearly took the other way home, but then when I hit the junction with 40 I decided to take that route (which I'm slightly more familiar with, anyway) instead. And besides, 40 west of Durham is always clear and fast-moving. Except that then it took me over 40 minutes to drive three miles, on a sweltering hot day. So between that and getting behind a few slow-moving vehicles (and I do mean slow) during the one-lane parts of the drive, my cushion of time was gone along with a lot of the not-so-cushiony part. After a few failed attempts at calling the family (evil payphones and such), I finally got through to another family that was kind enough to call them for me. When I got there, the kids were as pleasant and charming as always, and I had a great time.
While I was gone, I got a call from Jyl (the woman whose house I'm living in) saying that she's been asked to stay for another two weeks and that she isn't sure if she wants to, but figured she'd check with me about whether I could stay here the additional time before she decided about staying out there. I told her that I can do either, as she so desires, and just to let me know what her decision is when she makes it. So, my move might end up being pushed slightly further back again, but either way I'll be quite happy. I also got a lot of other messages -- what's with the common human experiences of how you might not get calls at all for three days in a row if you're home the whole time, but then when you're gone or out a lot, you'll get at least 20? Well, maybe not 20, but a lot. At both of my current phone numbers.
Anyway.. Thursday was very uneventful, except that I turned in my rental car. I'd had the thing for almost a month, and the insurance company of the guy that hit me (it was a three-car accident for anyone that hasn't read that/those entry/ies) finally contacted the rental company, agreeing to pay up through the 20th. So I had to pay for one day (notice beforehand would've been nice.. I wouldn't be frustrated with it if it weren't for the way the company is handling .. er.. NOT handling things.) I still haven't heard anything from them about the rest of the settlement and if they're actually DOING things now.. but that was a good start. So, the moral if the story is don't use GMAC insurance. Or any of their companies, including Integon. Nomatter how high-risk you are. On a good note, the one person that's answered their 800-number -- when I've called it after not being able to reach the adjuster for weeks -- is Dean, and he's been incredibly helpful. He's the only one associated with that company that I've had any positive contact with, though. And I think that's just sad. I hope he gets raises. Lots and lots of raises. And perhaps a job with a better company. Because GMAC leaves a bad taste in my mouth (seriously.. while I was putting calling them on my to-do list AGAIN, I almost didn't put it because it makes me have reflux just thinking about them). They are a BAD insurance company. Meanwhile, my Progressive adjuster (who is actually in NC, because that's where the accident happened) has been more than above-and-beyond his call of goodness, and is STILL helping me even though Progressive's part in this whole mess has been over since the first week after my accident. He calls and initiates contact to help make sure that things are moving along, and to give me advice about how to handle this other company. His name is Nathan, and if you are a nice person and you have an accident in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, I hope that you're fortunate enough to get hooked up with him. And I also hope that he gets lots of raises. Lots and lots of raises. Apart from Nathan, my experience with Progressive has been very positive, even though I had just switched to them about two weeks before the accident happened. The other accident that I had, three years ago, took place when I was with Progressive for my first car. They handled things immediately and well back then, too. I went with Geico when I first got Gilbert (my last car besides the rental), because they were less expensive for me at the time than anyone else. But after a year and a half, Progressive was MUCH less expensive again, and I'm glad that I was with them when I had the accident, though my experience with Geico was also very positive and I'm sure they would've handled things well, too. So, that's my spiel about insurance.
NOW we're getting to the best part about the summary of my last few weeks, and I know that what I've written so far is much too lengthy. However, there just isn't anything that I feel comfortable taking out, because it's all been things I wanted to blog about as they were happening and afterwards, and a lot of them will be referred to in future blog entries. So, sorry for the length. Thank you for reading anyway.
Friday night, after a very uneventful day, I went ROCK-CLIMBING with Krista and Dave. Rock the snot on, and pardon the cheap pun-if-you-will. (That is, it isn't really a pun. Just a redundant something-or-other.) We didn't even leave my place 'till about 8pm, and then I got home sometime around 11:30. So we used head-lamps and I borrowed his harness and her shoes, since they're into climbing (though this was only her fourth climb.. but she's getting into it very quickly and very well) and this was my first climb. We had a wonderful time, and it was nice getting to meet and chat with Dave and to spend more time with Krista. She's one of the neatest people I've had the pleasure of knowing, and one of the best friends that I have at this time -- both in the sense of closeness and in her qualities as a friend. She calls me about hanging out at least as often as I call her, etc.. So, I went rock-climbing and I managed to get all the way to the top and I managed to trust the rope much more than I wanted to (even when you know it's going to hold, it's SO hard to just lean back and sit in the rope. For a while. Then you get used to it quickly enough and get much more comfortable with the whole experience). And I wasn't even all that sore the next day, which is good because..
.. on Saturday, some friends and I helped paint an office where one of their mothers works, and then went to another friends' wedding. It was a GORGEOUS ceremony.. but boy, should I not be invited to weddings! Only maybe 50 people there, POSSIBLY 60 including the entire wedding party, photographer, priest, and musician.. but still perhaps just 50. And I'm sitting at a table with some of the folks that I know from the wednesday-night Bible study I've been going to (mostly for folks that are new or struggling Christians that don't tend to fit in at "normal" churches) and then the table across the way from us had the folks that I know from Tueday nights at the bar, and much of the rest of the crowd were older relatives of the couple. So my table is talking about rumors and how the husband in the married couple at the end forgot to put on his wedding ring that morning and starting a great rumor about them seperating. We were all having a blast talking about this, and I said something about how tragic it was, that I had really believed that if anyone could make it, they could.. and so if they couldn't, marraige must be evil. Except that I said that last part kinda loud. And everyone in the small room of people looked at me. And I realized that I was at a wedding, and that not everyone else in the room had the slightest stinkin' clue that I was joking and all. My face turned BRIGHT red. After all that, I got to babysit the same kids as on Wednesday, and they were their usual too-charming selves. It's a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy, and they've really worked their ways into my heart over the past year-plus of regularly sitting them. The girl had eaten about half of her dinner when she explained to me that she was WAY too full because she had had too much for breakfast, and her tummy was SO big. And then, before even turning back to the movie (did you know that there is a Land Before Time part SIX? What the snot?), she brought forth every ounce of cuteness she could, and said "can I have my donut now?" I busted out laughing, and I'm not sure she really understood why. But she seemed satisfied with the idea that snack time would be in about half an hour. Her parents enjoyed that story a lot when they came home.
So, that brings us to Sunday, and I went to church this morning (at the church my church planted across town a couple of years ago, to which I've been going for the past two months except for a few weeks when I went to the motherchurch) and was asked by my ride-giving friend to replace her in the children's study time today. I won the kids over right away by making paper airplanes, and by letting them guess my age (because when asked how I knew how to make paper airplanes, my response was that I used to be younger, too) which ranged rom 15 to 50 and then to 2. We settled on me being 2.
After church, I rode with a friend up to the River House, where we talked for a while since not one other soul was there, surprisingly enough. Yesterday, I had called about 20 people to invite them up, and this morning I told nearly everyone at church (and told them all to tell everyone else) to come up after church, and Bob (who has the boat with which we go skiing) was gonna tell the folks from the other church, and it seemed like there was going to be (or had potential to be) a pretty large crowd. So Emily and I sat there talking for a while, and then Bob got there right as Emily had to go, so he and I spent the day switching between who was driving and who was behind the boat. We also grabbed some of the neighbors for a few laps, but it was mostly just us, which is how it was a lot of times last summer. I alternated between skiing and kneeboarding, while he slalomed and then spent some time working on getting up on the kneeboard. Between me still being a rookie driver and also being a LOT less confident driving a boat because there's so much less control (and also because last time I drove, which was my first time behind the wheel of the boat in almost a year, I had a boat-full of people watching him ski and me drive, so that weighted to boat very differently.. also, there weren't nearly so many people on the river that day) .. so, between that and the fact that Bob is extremely tall and thin enough to be thin without being lanky, the kneeboard was not so much suited to his particular body type. He did get up a few times, but had been slaloming and working enough that there just wasn't so much energy to stay up on the baord for too long. I had a number of long runs, though, even turning around on it a few times (I couldn't quite master staying backwards for long, or rotating all the way around -- instead turned backwards and then back forwards.. I couldn't get my other hand on the handle when it was behind my back. Bob figures I just need to get more speed into my turns so that I can reach the handle before my arm extends itself) and going outside the wake a bunch. I half tried jumping the wake, but I knew I didn't really have the stomach strength for that. So, muscles that aren't used in most other activities got major workouts today, completely different leg groups between the skiing and kneeboarding. I hadn't been kneeboarding since my sophomore year in high school, and had never done anything too fancy back then, so this was a great experience. And time with Bob is always great. He and his wife Terry have been so wonderful to know over the past four-plus years, and their daughters are likewise a much-appriciated part of my life. Hopefully their older daughter, Ruth, will be able to spend some time with Bob and I on the river soon and we can exchange kneeboarding tips (she's also a beginner) and silley stories about her dad.
When I got home, I decided I'd watch a movie and just kinda relax for a while after my shower. Browsing the various videos I recently borrowed from a house-sitting client, I decided on The Patriot. I had seen the movie once when it was in theaters, and not since then.. my goodness did I forget most of that movie! So, as I sat there watching the evil military leader (as opposed to the several good military leaders in the movie) and all the dummyheads who followed his orders like stupid little lemmings who were willing to kill women and children and non-soldier men at the drop of his weaseley words, I cried. I cried when Benjamin's two older sons were killed at the evil man's hands, and when other good characters died. And I cried when I saw all the fighting. It was so nice to feel, to be crying at a movie (which I haven't done much in a long time), but it also made me realize how much I hate the way that human beings can be so unbelievably cruel to eachother. I despise fighting.. more so now than ever. Regardless of reasons and regardless of what's best in the long run or even right now.. I'm not saying that war is wrong, period. I'm just saying that I despise that it happens.. and that there are ever reasons for it.. and that people are such meaneyheads so often. I despise that there are indeed truly evil people that exist, and that their existance brings unpleasantness to so many others, whether those that fall victim to them or those that follow them blindly, unaware or uncaring about the evil inside of their leader.
I hate watching people hurt eachother. Whether it's the good guy beating up the bad guy, or fake fighting (though choreographed dueling and such can be impressive when there isn't any death or serious injury involved) or pro-wrestling (blah!) or war or kindergarten playgrounds or anything. I hate violence, whether more passive, verbal, physical, agressive, whatever. And I hate that sometimes I desire it. Not nearly so often as I used to, though.
I cry when I see violence now, most often. When there is nothing that I can do about it, I get so flustrated and I either cry or want to cry.
And then I think about how my brothers and I used to fight eachother, with fists and fingernails (me more with the latter, of course) and I cry. I can't believe that I did such horrid things.
Peter and John, I am sorry. I am more sorry than I could say. For the scars, for the words, for the apathy. I did not understand love, and I did not understand family, and I still have no excuse. I did understand violence and I did understand the futility of all our fighting, and I did know that I was really hurting you, and I am sorry.
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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