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, December 24, 2004
1) If you have a customer service job or that is in any way a major part of your job, whether your job is civilian or military, and especially if you are Active Duty working with Reservists and thus are military serving customers who are civilians, you will ALWAYS, regardless of the specifics of your job, get people who think that you are either there to listen to them complain and take out their anger/frustration/irritation/childhood-trauma on you in the midsts of whatever they're ACTUALLY there to do, or that you are somehow going to be able to help them with the vast majority of OTHER issues in their lives that are entirely and completely unrelated to whatever it is that you do, including somehow having a telepathic connection with the person at the store a few miles away who they hope will keep the store open an extra hour or two because this person will otherwise be inconvenienced, and so they can call YOU because you will answer the phone when they don't even have anything at all for you to do and they just want you to telepathically connect to that person and demand exceedingly great customer service and self-sacrifice on this person's behalf in order for this person to get what he or she wants from that person.
(Whew.. my fingers did all that in one breath! Okay, fingers.. breathe now.)
2) When one is told to make six copies each of 7 files, it uses up a lot of paper. No matter how frequently you go by to reload the paper, it's just a lot. And when one types quickly, with good accuracy, and seems to not be terribly busy all of the time, one gets tasked with many menial jobs. And if one knew what all of the different menial jobs were going to be beforehand, one could, in one's efficient way, multitask and arrange them in such a way that one could complete them in comparably little time and with minimum energy, especially as far as typing in names and addresses for paperwork AND mailing labels. If one knew that one was going to do the paperwork AND the mailing labels, one could do them both at the same time and be done that way, instead of typing in the same 40 names over and over. But, I am really quite convinced that my LPO (Leading Petty Officer, or the person in charge of my office on the administration level) has her own way of making me more ready for my advancement and for continuing to advance quickly. I'm really quite certain that I am fortunate to be working under her, and in the office I am working in, with most of my fellow staff members. Fabulous group of people.
3) I never could have imagined, when I was filling out my dream sheet at "A" school, that the one place I would want to end up would be the one place I asked them to keep me away from back then. Even with living on the base (although these days of having this big house to myself far away from base and not having to go anywhere near it help), and even with that nasty bought of extreme loneliness I was feeling (which I think is mostly getting as gone as it ever does), I think that this particular command and these particular orders I'm filling are really the best I could've gotten. When I was at home on leave, I was feeling like God was calling me home to Jacksonville.. not that Jacksonville would be my home for long, but that God was going to make me at home here, was going to draw me into Himself and my real Home more while stationed here.
The Burg was a great place to get out of FL to, and "safe", as it were, to learn to be the adult in age that I mostly always had been in mind. To learn for it to be OK for me to be an old soul now that less people would be looking at the kid body housing it. To be an adult in responsibility and all practical ways as I had had to be in emotional ways growing up. But the Burg's time for me was certainly drawing to a close. Spiritually, it's a pretty extreme town. There are so many groups of people there who are very different from eachother, but all fitting into these molds, these stereotypes. I mean, not the individuals' personality, but mostly the spiritual backgrounds and present thoughts of most people there. I'd say that just about every major school of spiritual thought was represented there in some form or other, but even within them there were the stereotypes, the rebellions or the obedience, the journey and the stagnant. I don't know that Spiritually, Jax is really all that different. I'm not sure any place is. But I think the Burg exists in such a way that this spiritual level influences the surface more. Not that it is a more Spiritual town, as it were.. simply that the Spiritual is a bigger issue there, it is more part of life, whether directly or indirectly.
It is said that there are two things not to be talked about in bars: religion and politics. And during election years, the politics side is fuzzed into it not so much being discussed in bars as often, but certainly it is mentioned. I couldn't walk into a bar in the months leading up to the election without hearing somebody make a sarcastic comment about the current presidency or about the Ugly Man trying to take it over. But in the Burg, religion was never a topic to avoid. People MENTIONED the Great Law of Topic Avoidance all the time, of course. But it was rare to be in a bar for more than a couple of hours without hearing some subject irrefutably having to do with religion. Whether it was about certain town notables or about the person's own beliefs.. but what am I saying, every such conversation was about the person's own beliefs, just sometimes more obviously than others. At any rate, Religion is in every aspect of that town, and little else is.
It was a great place to get away from the Spiritual dryness and cloneness that is South Florida, the same dryness and cloneness that took all of what I loved about my middle school and high school youth groups, friends, and leaders and destroyed them into either smurfy little groups that cannot accept reality, bitter clumps of people who spit at all things blatantly Christian, or apathetic-seeming people who figure if they just don't pay attention to the problem of Spirituality, it will not really be a problem at all. This happens everywhere of course, but moreso in South FL than anywhere else I've personally seen. In Boston, there is great tradition to root people into their familie's religious practices. There is cultural exploration of conceptual spirituality so that people understand why they would want to believe anything. Of course, I just remember Boston from my very young childhood and from other people's accounts, but that is how it feels to me inside my bones. The feeling of Boston is the feeling of home, the feeling of something deep and mysterious and older than my own old soul, where South Florida was nothing to it. And the Burg was a great place to remove that dryness and cloneness.. I mean, in many areas the cloneness was much more insidious than ever in South Florida, but then anything that makes a subtle problem more obvious also makes it easier to remove or resist. So, the Burg was this set of obviously-s and obviously-nots. Obviously this is where I want to go, and obviously that is not who I want to be.
But the Burg, then, in its obviousness became more difficult for me. After five years there, it was not what I needed anymore. And I did not entirely feel that when I enlisted in the Navy, but when I was home on leave the feeling was there. The Navy was sending me to the one place I had asked not to go to, but everyone I talked to at home had a family member there or a friend there or had lived there previously. And I had already come to terms with the fact that yes, I would be back in Florida, but I would be as close to not-FL as one can get in the state (with GA a mere twenty to forty minutes north, and the culture here representing that of GA much more than South Florida) and I would be close enough to watch my niece grow up and see my Grandfather more often and yet far enough away to not go south every weekend or even, necessarily, every month. To have my own life with a more accessible connection to my relatives'. So having already come to terms with that fact, and hearing so much about who I could meet or where I could go once I got here (and for the record, I have met only one of these connections and been to none of the locations (other than the base, of course) that I was told about beforehand), I knew that this place was going to be important and fundamental in my life. That it was not just a place God would work His glory in, but that He was calling me to. A specific location at which He wanted me (for my own good and maybe others') that in and of itself was necessary for my growth and well-being.
It is that feeling, or rather the memory of that feeling, that got me through the loneliness. (Along with friends who stuck in there, of course, and offered what they could from a distance.. friendship and communication, less of a feeling of isolation.) And so Jacksonville is home. For now, but any place that is really home at all is always home. Boston will always be the homiest for me, and VA will be right up there with it. South FL will always have certain aspects of home, certain things that feel familiar.. but will never really be home. California, Sacramento at least, certainly isn't home. But Jacksonville is, already I think.
Comments: Post a Comment
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