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
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Meanwhile, Sloane fell asleep in the car (as she is wont to do) and will wake up next year, which will be soon enough.
So, I've had a big year.. very busy year.. very productive year. And I've finally settled on a major issue that's been up in the air for a while: I want to be a writer.
I finally admitted that to myself this past week, when I was noticing that writing is the only career-field in which I have a passion .. there are other things I really want to do, as well, but not many as a career. But I want to write. I love writing. I love telling the stories of the people and events that make up this crazy world. So, I want to actively pursue writing, and whatever it will take to get there.
In other news, today I had a great visit with the kids I used to babysit, Alisha and Garrett. Garrett is four years younger than me, which is just enough to seem much younger to a high-school-freshman looking at a fifth-grader... and yet, he's very grown-up now, so much so that he barely seemed younger at all. Much, much, much taller than me, too. Alisha is two years younger than Garrett, and so was still in elementary school when I moved to CA after my sophomore year. Oh, goodness, it was so hard to tell her that I was moving. And now she, too, towers over me and is drop-dead-gorgeous and her conversations with her friends on the phone are really quite different than (and yet so similar to what) they used to be.
I also got to visit Mrs. Heydet, the gifted teacher I had from third through fifth grade, with whom I've had the great fortune of keeping in touch (sometimes more regularly than others) all these years. She is probably the single most positively-influential person in my life, even though my life really has been rich with many great folks.
This is one very special person, though, and it was such an honor to be talking with her in person (again, finally) today. I wasn't in touch with her during any of my previous visits, so I hadn't seen her since sometime in high school when a classmate of mine lived next door to her, or maybe I saw her once when I got back from CA, but I don't think so. At any rate, it was wonderful to talk with her today, to think about the old teachers and classmates from those years and even find out what some of them are up to these days, and to receive her many words of wisdom (she is quite wise) and encouragement.
So, I'm off to sleep.. going to finally meet up with Jon tomorrow (hopefully) and see Aleks, say goodbye to my niece, pack my car, and have a great start to a new year. Welcome here, 2004.
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Apart from visiting the Keys yesterday, which was a fantastico trip, I've watched a lot of Will and Grace season 1 episodes on DVD (my mother and Mary have that set and a DVD player), taken the dog for a couple of walks, had a REALLY nice dinner with the snake-breeding neighbor I mentioned in the last post, and slept. A lot of sleeping.
Oh, and I've spent hours on the internet trying to track down the folks I once knew and make plans to spend some time together while I'm around.
Finally, tonight, I was able to get ahold of Aleks and Jon, who were two of my most favorite folks when I lived in town. Aleks and I are gonna have coffee tomorrow noonish (after I go see my brother and niece in the morning), and Jon and I are gonna do something at some point.
And later this week, maybe after coffee tomorrow, I'll go to Coral Springs and see the folks I used to know there, including the girl I used to babysit (who is so much like a sister to me, except the lack of contact) and my elementary school teacher (who is one of the most influential people in my life, with whom I've fortunately had some contact between my last trip down and now) .. Dropping in on people unexpectedly is not my favorite way of doing things, but since I finally have a cell phone at least that will help once I get to a Coral Springs phone book. (No luck with whitepages.com so far.)
So, I've been on the computer for a very long time so far this evening, and I think I'm gonna go watch more Will and Grace or a movie or something.. but with a much less saddened heart (indeed, a rather happy one) since I've finally gotten in touch with folks and made plans to see them soon.
Friday, December 26, 2003
I'm in FL now. I was planning on coming down later in the spring, after my long-term babysitting job was up in April. However, I got word that maybe my grandfather was more sick than I had previously heard, and decided I needed to come down NOW to see him since it's been two years and all, plus that some friends will be in town for the holidays that wouldn't be around in the spring or summer.
So, I left VA Saturday morning in the wee hours, and made an 835 mile trip in just over 13 hours, including stops (four), construction/accident backups (three), and wrong turns (more than one).
I arrived at my grandfather's house that night, stayed with him and his wife Jan (I think maybe I haven't posted much about her since my initial post after first meeting her two years ago.. man, she's a fantastic woman! And I already think of her as my grandmother, yet without ever replacing Gramma's memory or place in my life) that night, and went to church with some former-youth-leaders of mine Sunday morning. Then it was back to Gramps and Jan's house to sleep off the benadryley stuff I had taken and get up in time for a quick lunch and some chatter before my mother, her partner, my older brother, and his daughter all got there. We had nice Christmas-time-like-present-exchanges and went out to dinner together, then chatted a bit more before the great caravan back to Southern FL to my mother's place. John (my older brother) drove my car back, with me in the passenger seat introducing him to some of my favorite music, and mom drove her PT Cruiser (she CANNOT not be driving if she's in a car. Literally. She and Mary left for TX this morning, to visit Mary's family, and they've driving to TX before and thus already know that even on a 14 hour trip, my mother will NOT let Mary drive.. even though she knows Mary's a great driver and everything. She's been like this since before I was conceived, and will prolly be like this forever) with Mary and Sloane in it.
Basically, I spent Monday through Thursday morning (that is, Christmas morning) with Sloane and occasionally some other folks. There were only maybe two or three hours during which Sloane and I weren't near eachother at least within a few rooms. Even at night, she usually would wake up at some point in the night and crawl onto the futon with me since she doesn't do well sleeping by herself in her own room yet. She did that Sunday night, so when I opened my eyes Monday morning, there were her huge, blue eyes watching for me to wake up. I said, "Good morning, Sloane", except a little more croaky than that.. and she whispered, "Good morning, Aunt Patty." Then she said it was time to get up for breakfast, and I asked what we were having (because that had been the discussion among the adults the night before) and she got all excited and said, "syrup cakes!" .. which is what she calls waffles.
Sloane turned three on December 15th, and she is one of the most incredible little children I've ever met. She's got curly blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and cheeks just chubby enough to accent her perfect little dimples. She looks off to the side when she's thinking, which is somehow more endearing than anything else I've seen her do yet, and she LOVES to cuddle up with any friend or relative of hers.
It breaks my heart to see how she's one of those shuffled-around kids, with not-always-neatly-done turns taken by her two geographically-present sets of grandparents and her parents (though the latter usually coordinate with their parents and do time with Sloane at the grandparent's houses, anyway).. However, she's an incredible child, and I so look forward to watching her grow up.
Meanwhile, Mom and Mary left for TX this morning, complete with a picture of me holding a snake on Mom's steering wheel (a kind Christmas gift from one of their snake-breeding neighbors with whom I've talked a lot about music and animals) because she absolutely despises snakes. So I've got the place (and the computer) to myself for the next week-or-so 'till I leave for my roundabout return trip. I'll be going through Pensacola, Atlanta, and possibly a few other places, getting back to my apartment sometime late on January fifth.
And on that note, it's time for me to go have some dinner. But yes, I'll be blogging a lot more during my stay here, since they have a broadband connection.
Happy and safe holidays, all! For those that really are Christians, please keep in mind what Christmas is all about. For everyone, please have a really good time, and be safe.
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