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
Thursday, May 27, 2004
So the first thing I noticed was that the address was handwritten. And then that it wasn't addressed to me, but to a guy who apparently lived there before my landlords owned the building (which has been at least five years) because I've gotten several pieces of mail for him but no one seems to know who he is.
And then that it was addressed from a backwoods county north of here. By the senior to the junior addressee.
When I turned it over, I saw a stamp on it saying that it was prison mail and the contents had not been checked and to not sue the prison if there was anything offensive or illegal in it. And the handwritten scrawl, "Sure do miss ya'll!"
And some part of all that was so sad.
The church I'm currently attending has been working on finding a new building for a while, because we're really outgrowing our space and it was a space we weren't supposed to inhabit for as long as we have, anyway. One opportunity that came up was sharing space with one of the belltower churches on the everycorner block, and we're in the midst of our two-week trial run with that idea. So last Saturday, we were over there setting up our stuff, and had the chance to tour the church a little in the process. Jason, one of the bunches of college guys attending my church, Aimee, and myself all went to see the Sanctuary. After we had seen all of that and the lobby, Jason remarked about the bell tower and a turret-ey thing you could see from the outside, and wondered how to get in there. So we went exploring, he and I, to see what secret passageways we might be able to find.
We figured out that the tower was right over the front corner lobby/entrance to the church, and when we went into that area, saw a ladder going up right as the bells started chiming the hour. He climbed the ladder to see if the doorway at the top was open, and I looked at all the old-church paraphernalia while I was waiting for the verdict. I saw this one little schooldesk looking thing with some sheet music and whatnot on top, and opened it up expecting to find more sheetmusic. Instead, I found what looked to me like a 1920s child's keyboard. Having grown up in a home with an organ (my mother is an organist), I couldn't resist seeing if it still worked. No sound, though, when I pressed the keys. When Jason came back down, I was mentioning that it didn't work, and then saw a tiny key in the side. When I turned the key, a red light came on, and Jason pressed two keys quickly. We heard the bells ring sporadically, and realized that he had just played the bells in the belltower instead of a child's keyboard! There's one of those experiences I never knew could be had, but could now cross off my "things to do before I die" list, if I kept such a list.
This still doesn't feel real to me at all, although leaving in general (or disappearing from my current life, anyway) does. My apartment has been a mess of attempting-to-pack for the last month, since my original plan was to move out a month early and save rent that way, but the reality is I was nowhere near ready to leave at that point. I've done about half of the goodbye things that I know I'll be doing, and today I put in my last hour at work. I was supposed to be there 'till Friday night, but I've been going home sick more often than not the past two weeks, with these terrible drowsinesses (mostly from the heat) and random other symptoms (most likely from stress), and decided that putting in two and a half more days there was just not worth it. I mean, I need to in a capitalist sense, or just in the responsible sense of being entirely caught up financially by the time I leave.. but the reality is that if I get sick enough to not be able to leave, or if I get stressed out enough that I have a breakdown at bootcamp, I'm not gonna be ok financially or otherwise. So, I called tonight and told them that because of stress, I wouldn't be returning to work. They were very fine with that, even though they're incredibly busy these days.
This weekend, my mother, brother, and niece will hopefully be coming up for a visit before I leave. And then next week I've got a bazillion more attempts at hanging out with people one-last-time, and then I'm off on this crazy new adventure.
As long as Kerry doesn't get elected, I'll have job security for the next five years.
I've already given Beth all the information she needs (I think) for my blog and email account so that they don't go poof while I'm gone, and so that I can update everyone during bootcamp, and in one central location.
So I guess that's all there is to it this time, really.
The part of me that feels like all of this is more final than not is getting bigger these days.. The part of me that knows it won't ever be back. But I will, most likely. I always am.
Here's to restless nights before big changes.. and here's to big changes that will hopefully make nights less restless.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Meanwhile, during the bouquet toss, I told Hillary (currently in eighth grade, but as the sister of one of the current seniors, I've known her for my five years here, too) that she could stand next to me for the toss since she's nearly 10 inches taller than me (she had shoes on, but she's still at LEAST 6 inches taller barefoot) and thus could catch the bouquet and leave me free from that trouble. And she was, I think, right behind me. And lots of very eager-to-catch-it girls were in front of me and beside me. And I was standing right beside another girl shying away from that crowd, talking about how we'd leave the giddy girls the joy of fighting over the flowers while we looked on from behind. And then all of a sudden, I had flowers in my hand.
Yes, I caught the bouquet. Hilarious!
So when they did the garter toss, the garter had no weight worth mentioning to it, and it fell quickly. Liam, a young gentleman who was born shortly after I moved here five years ago, was the first to dive for it and claim it as his own. And all the girls told me it was him (I couldn't see that toss from where I was) and I was elated, because EVERYONE has a crush on Liam.
I asked him later if we were gonna get married since he caught the garter and I caught the bouquet, and he said (I'm seriously quoting this exactly as he said it), "No. ... I'm going to marry something else."
At any rate, it's different. It's good and user friendly, but different. And although I like having more space in my post-writing window, I also kinda enjoyed having my previous posts right there to look at while I was typing, and that's no longer the case, at least in this particular format. Either way, though, I love blogger. I'm so glad that blogs were thought up and made so easy for people with the various blog and such programs.
Monday, May 03, 2004
Connect with Beth about handling my email accounts and blogging for me (from letters I'll send her) while I'm gone: Check. (Thanks, Beth!) (Since I'll be writing, and she'll be typing what I write and posting that on my behalf, likely the only difference you'll notice may be a distinct lack of typos, or at least that is one significant difference I notice when I read things posted by Beth.)
Slack off on the workouts after getting in shape enough to figure out I'll be fine at boot camp: Check.
Manage, somehow, to severely overdose on protein: Check.
Set up a junior-high-and-former-junior-high-student party as a farewell to all the kids I've worked with in my years at my old church: Check.
Sort through my clothing, posters, dishes, etc and decide what to keep and what to give away/throw away, and even start packing a wee bit: Check.
Begin, slowly, telling more people at work (though not yet the supervisors) that I've enlisted in the Navy and won't be around there for long: Check.
Begin, slowly, telling the students that I'm friends with (college students, that is) goodbye since I won't see a lot of them before they leave for the summer and then before I leave for the Navy: Check.
Give away some of my furniture and such to a house of college-aged guys that needed some during a roommate-transition time, who were borrowing a truck at the time and so pulled around back to get the table into the truck and in so doing got quite very stuck in the mud in the back yard, and had the Patty tradition of gathering neighbors to help people get unstuck from my backyard: Check.
Stall as much as possible on really packing and getting rid of stuff: Check.
So, I'm making progress and procrastinating at the same time. And things are starting to get lined up for having a lot of going-away gatherings during my last week before shipping out, although there is a certain irony in my mind of gathering people that I see only on certain fairly rare occasions to say goodbye, when I'm likely going to see them about as often as I currently do throughout the next five years, since I'll be back on leave from time to time and all that. But, of course, there is that whole concept of the me that's back on leave being different from the me that's leaving now.
And goodness, I miss reading other people's blogs. And I really look forward to when I can get back into that.
So, I'm off to pack now and then go to work. (I'm working 40-50 hour weeks these days, and the overtime pay on top of the regular pay is quite nice.)
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