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, April 23, 2004
Now, I don't even have a TV, much less choose to watch TV often, but when I'm in the break room, don't know anyone else there, and don't have phone calls to make or other things to occupy my mind so fully as to not be listening to outside noises, I tend to notice what's on TV. Today specifically, I was standing (I'm in the midst of an eleven hour workday as part of a very full workweek including overtime, such as I'll be working both next week and the week after that without any eleven hour stretches) and watching, as I mentioned, the few minutes of talk shows that were on during my break.
The Montel show didn't do much, because it was just the very end and I didn't hear any of the tragically ended stories, just one of a woman who got away from her obsessive ex-husband after being held at knifepoint. Oprah, on the other hand, took me from being in a very good, slightly hyper state of mind, into literally being on the verge of tears with an audibly noticible crack in my voice when I returned from my break. It was a show about the worst days in the lives of two women; Days when one woman's children were severely harmed in a car explosion of some sort and the other woman's children were murdered by her ex-husband.
Obviously, there is no further explanation needed for why I was on the verge of tears when I returned to my workstation.
I'm currently reading a book I got from the used book sale section of my library called A Time To Heal. This is a book written for adult children of alcoholics, and has been a remarkably (and surprisingly) great read, very helpful to me. Many of the books written to this target audience have not appealed to me so well... thus I was very glad to have come across this one. (A divine appointment, I'm sure.) At any rate, one of the things that the author mentions in this book is the concept of how if we didn't have at least some level of denial in our lives, no human would ever survive; We must, to a certain extent, deny the darkness and danger of our existance in order to function in a world that really isn't all that bad most of the time. If we were constantly aware of and focused on the incredibly horrid capabilities of humans, and the disgustingly sad possabilities of nature and other external circumstances, we would never make it to the age of comprehension.
Today's Oprah topics made me that much more aware of this concept.Not that I wasn't already understanding what he meant, but because my work happens to be so habitual, I was able to block out my sadness while doing my work and, much later, while on breaks as well. However, had I not been able to do so, I would dwell in the horror I felt watching that preview. Perhaps had I seen the whole show, there would have been a certain amount of redemptive value attached to that experience, such as seeing how the women have healed and admiring their strength. However, I only caught the stories of the actual tragedies, and then had to be back in my cubicle.
Thus is my reaction.
Monday, April 19, 2004Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA near DC.)
I haven't really started to say goodbye to much of my hometown crowd yet, because it seems like leaving is still so far away, when really it's only a month and a half.. and less every day.
But tonight, when I was saying goodbye to the staff at Jammin' Java, I felt like it was forever, and I nearly cried the way that we all cried when we were ending a school year and we were getting read to part with out every-weekday-friends for a Whole Summer, ad we knew in our adolescent-and-teen wisdom that even though we'd see them again soon enough, the we and the them would be different people, because summers have a way of changing us more and also of making the changes more noticible because of the lack of gradually observing the changes that take place during the other 9-and-a-half to ten months of teh year.
And so I said goodbye to them, knowing that even if it wasn't goodbye forever, there was a me (or a part of me) that would never be back there again, maybe also parts of them that the me that does return would never see again, either.
So I probably will be back, but I will have changed in the meantime. And that's certainly not a bad thing .. Lord knows we're all in desperate need of change. But saying goodbye to them tonight was also saying goodbye, on some level, to whatever me will not return, to whatever them will not be there when I return. Bittersweet, really, in its mixed excitement, potentially short time frame, and potentially large changes.
Also, it was the first real goodbye, and when I do come back it will just be visiting, and not living a mere 200ish miles away, mere three hour trek from my door to theirs. And there are many more goodbyes, many much more serious and final goodbyes, that will be taking place over the next 7 weeks. It wasn't until this night that I really realized that I was saying goodbye, for the first real time in 5 years. I had known it, of course.I had felt part of it when I was planning to move to NC, and (oddly enough), the change-taking-place aspect when I was preparing to visit FL over the holidays. But it wasn't until tonight that the finality of my leaving set in. This place that has been a home-away-from-home for 4 years won't be anymore, unless I end up stationed nearby; And saying goodbye there wasn't far off from saying goodbye here.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
We've been getting a whole stinkin' lot of rain here the past four days, and I'm starting to have dreams about the sun actually come out, and then waking up to the constant grey skies that remind me I couldn't live in MN year-round, because I'd be too impacted by the winters there. However, yesterday and today I've been in a very springey mood internally, perhaps for no apparent reason. So I've been wearing spring clothes and my headpieces and other jewelry that I made or that has butterflies and other springeyness to it. And I've been eating really well for the past couple of weeks, including getting some whey protein and psyllium husk to add to my diet (the first to build lean protein to help my working out attempts, the second to add fiber).
My job is going well, and I've got full-time hours when I can and all the time off that I needed for the special events, concerts, babysitting jobs, etc that I already had scheduled before starting there. Of course, I haven't yet told them I'm shipping out in June, but I'll be putting in plenty of notice for that and won't be trained any higher (they're not expecting to train the next group 'till the end of May or sometime in June anyway) before I leave, so that really they're just getting more output for their original training investment (since I didn't need to be retrained 'cept they did give me the one-hour refresher course as it were), and not investing any more money into me. There is a certain amount of irony, in the whole concept of how I applied there last September with the idea that I'd be trained and then leave for NC soon, and it'd be fine because their turnover was high enough that it didn't really matter, and now I'm going to be leaving afterall and am currently working there.
So, that's the brief update. I'm gonna be seeing Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer near DC this weekend, and there's a Celtic Festival on April 24th that I'm gonna be The Stage Manager for, which is terribly exciting. And there's lots of other exciting stuff coming up between now and shipping out.
And I'm getting myself all mentally prepared to write a lot of letters to bootcamp, since that'll be my only communication with the outside world.
Monday, April 05, 2004
And while I walked here (about a block away), I cried a little, I thought a lot, I clenched my teeth, and I was brought to a new level of hatred for greed, capitalism, selfishness, stupidity, and all manner of other negative qualities that have become so ingrained in the American way of life.
And I got convicted. I was listening this morning to Justin McRoberts' Trust album, and one of the songs has a chorus that goes something like this: "I won't become a victim of my rage.. Lord, give me love for my enemies."
And I kept hearing that line over and over and over in my head as I walked here. And I thought, "Yah, give me love for my enemies. Even unwise meaneyhead bosses. But only after you blow his financial life to smithereens... wow, I can feel that good Christian love warming my heart already, 'cause I'm such a fantastic, wonderful, loving person." The latter part, of course, being very, very sarcastic.
The part about my reaction that is wrong, of course, is wrong in the exact same way as what he did to me, or what other past employers and would-be employers did to me. Seeking their own goals, their own wallet's fullness, they did something unkind and unethical to me, and I suffered for it. And now, without the actual unkind or unethical actions (but with thoughts of both types) I am responding in the same way. I have, in effect, sunk to their level.. except lower, because I know better. Most of the people who have done these things to me are not Christians, would not want to be in their current path of choices.. in the sense that maybe they would be or will be someday, but at the moment, they can never see themselves giving control of their lives to Jesus or falling completely in love with Him. How Completely in love with Him am I, then, that I can act just as dark and dumb as they? How much control of my life have I given to Him if I'm still this angry at personal injustices?
So, I may not be able to restore hope in having a decent employer, but I can restore hope in having a decent reaction when I get screwed-over.
Tomorrow, I start back at the place where I worked from September to December. After their massive layoff-of-nearly-everyone-that-wasn't-working-at-least-two-levels-up in January, and the two weeks later (still in January) layoff-of-more-than-60%-of-the-customer-service-personnell, they started slowly-but-surely rehiring some of the folks they had originally laid off the first round, since they could pay them less than the customer service folks for the same amount of work. So, I finally got called back in last week, and start tomorrow. Since it was just over 90 days of non-active employment and/or non-employment from them, I still have to do all the loads and loads of paperwork again, but at least I'll have a job. And if they don't do the same thing they did last time of telling me I could bet on at least 30 hours a week and then giving me 12 on a good week, I'll be fine financially by the time I leave for the Navy. Hopefully, though, it won't even just be 30 hours a week.. hopefully on some weeks it'll be 40 instead. Then I'd be doing quite decently.
I am in personal/mental/Spiritual/emotional bootcamp right now, methinks. Everything is more intense, more extreme. The circumstances as well as my reactions.So, here's to hopefully graduating this boot camp in time for the Navy's.
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