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, April 25, 2005
Saturday was the Celtic Festival at the Sedalia Center, and it was VERY windy! But it was a beautiful day for it all the same and I had a very nice time, especially with seeing Barbara and Bernard, Chuck and Anne, and finally meeting the infamous Andrew. Tracy and Tim were kind enough to pick me up for that, and afterwards Andrew and I went to see Tracy in her play, Play It Again, Sam. It was great, especially for community theater. And then down to the Bull Branch to see who all we could catch there.
Sunday was Grace in the morning, and then Indian food for lunch at Milan's, with a bunch of the old lunch crew from Grace. And then to Serena, Ember, and Rachel's place where we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening having good quality time.
Today I got to sleep in nice and late, watch a movie, take a shower, collect my thoughts. I'm with Ash and the gang again now, about to go get some car parts for Ash's girlfriend in Roanoke, in his Marine-themed van.
Tonight will be Open Mic Night at the Bistro, so if you're in town, please come down to Main Street for that. Always a good time, always good people.
Tomorrow night is, of course, the Carico's house church, at which I'll get to see many of the folks from Grace and elsewhere with whom I was very close. And tomorrow daytime and Wednesday day will both be trying to sneak in some visits to a few more individuals and families, and then jumping on the plane Wednesday evening to get back to Jax around midnight and to work at 7:30 the next morning. Hoorah!
Sunday, April 17, 2005
This was the retirement ceremony weekend for our last Command Master Chief. Although his replacement has already gotten here and is a great CMC (with whom I get along particularly well), Master Cheif Rexford was very special to everyone here in his own right. There was a good mix in the upper tiers of my command when I arrived, and there will be again, but right now the majority of the upper tiers (other than the CO, who got here about four months before me and thus was still in transition when I arrived) are transitioning to different people, and it's a little strange to be caught up in it all, especially having not gone through anything quite like it before in my new Navy career.
Anyway, that retirement ceremony was bigger than any of the handful we've done since my arrival, and I was on the working party for it. Unfortunately, because so many of us were working, very few of my shipmates at the command were able to attend the ceremony itself. So most others didn't get to hear his farewell speech or stand in line to congratulate him on retirement afterwards. However, the few people that did go were less bodies at the command to be doing the normal command business, so that was double-hardship on both those who went and those who didn't. We had a lot to catch up on when we got back (I'm still nowhere near caught up and what I missed was mandatory because of the working party), and everyone else had to work harder in our absence.
We also had a lot more special situations with drillers this weekend, but most of that was routine, just in excessive amounts.
The hardest thing about this weekend, though, was the All Hands that was held while I was over at the pavillion setting up for retirement. My chief came up to tell us (the working party) about it herself, but the whole command (them after the All Hands and the working party after our individual announcements) just had to go right back to the normal routine after the fact.
Our Commanding Officer's daughter was killed in a car wreck in the wee hours of the morning Saturday. (Or late Friday night, however you look at it.)
She was 18. They were very, very close, and he talked about her all the time. She and her mother still lived in New Orleans, where he had last been stationed, so that she could finish high school out there where she was a senior. She would have graduated in a month and a half, at which time they would have moved out here to be with him again. She was coming out to visit with him, the story goes, and whether her friends were all coming out to see him as well or just to escape to Jacksonville hasn't been reported yet. But one of her friends was driving, fell asleep, and crashed. Along with Kelly's life being taken in the accident, another senior riding in the car is in the ICU in critical condition. The driver and the fourth student/friend had minor injuries.
I feel horrible for the driver, because I know that she will be one of the people having the hardest time with this. I have seen friends get in major accidents before; I have seen a town's reaction to accidents that take promising young lives. I know that it will be worse for her in many ways than for anyone else impacted by this accident. And for the fourth friend who will most likely have some survivor's guilt and lifelong memories to cope with. They could each really use some prayers right now, and their families I'm sure.
The boy who is in critical condition, of course, could use some prayers. And his family. I didn't find out from the reports how bad his injuries are at this point, or what expectations are right now. But either way, please pray for him, as well as his doctors and his family.
More than anyone else, though, simply because I knew him personally, I am praying for my CO. We all respect this man who is so self-sacrificing, and thus this has been hard for our whole command. No one from here has seen him since before this happened, of course .. since close of business on Friday. But we all can just picture him in his pain, and we all hurt for him. His wife, too, of course. Especially those who knew the rest of the family. He has a son, as well, who I don't know quite as much about. He didn't talk as much about his son since he's here in Jacksonville and so he doesn't have to miss him as much as he missed his daughter. But I'm sure that Kelly's brother is having as difficult a time with this as I would were one of my brothers in the wreck. I hurt for this family. We all do.
Please pray for all of them.
When our Captain comes back, which will be only when he is ready (our upper tiers are doing their part so that he does not need to return sooner than when he can), he will be a different man, we're all sure. And only a few people here, if any, have ever gone through something similar enough to be able to imagine what he's really feeling right now. But all of us know that we respect and care about him as our Commanding Officer and as a great CO at that, and that he loved his daughter so richly.. so much.
Although I never met her (I'm sure I would have on Saturday, though I didn't know it ahead of time), I miss her through him. We all grew to love her in a way because of his stories. I don't know how long it will be before he will tell any stories again, if ever.
Please pray for all of the people involved in this wreck, in the rescue services, in the hospital.
Please pray for my CO, and for our command.
A year and a half ago, I didn't have any cell phone at all and liked having voicemail on my landline because it could be checked from other places. People would leave messages on that and wait patiently for a response, or just hang up if it was something more urgent or they didn't like machines. Now, people hang up if they don't like machines, still, but it's almost hard to NOT reach me live outside of working hours.
Three cell phones, though, is certainly excessive. Especially since I have this habit of sometimes dropping phones. But I have yet to break a cell phone as far as I know, so that at least is some consolation.
I do keep them apart, though, so that when my phone rings I don't accidentally grab another. They all look different, but only feel so different in a pocket full of phones, so I have to get very creative with always having all of them on me but not getting them too confused.
Fortunately, I can't or don't use any of the three of them during working hours, so when I hear a ring at work it's got to be the big, black one beside me. Except that usually it's in one of the neighboring cubicles, and upstairs (in the pay office) we don't pick up everyone's line like we did downstairs in admin. I'm still getting used to that.
Just thought I'd share.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
So in the midsts of bragging about all of my accomplishments and convincing everyone who reads my eval that I am worthy of advancement and even perhaps of being picked up for commissioning (since this will be the only eval in my application packet), I can't really throw in "but I didn't do all this to make myself look good. I did it to bring glory to God and to enrich the lives of others whenever I can and unfortunately ended up not always enriching their lives in the process, but that's my desire anyway." I can't really say "refrained from at least 45 very 'red light' comments and maybe 238 potentially yellow light ones for the glory of God." And were I to have a comment in there something along the line of "went out of my way to help other people in order to help them, not give myself warm fuzzies or make myself look better or earn good karma", that would be somewhat self-defeating in a sense.
It is awkward for me to have to account for all of the good and wonderful things I have done, completely overlook all of the not so wonderful things, and not even be able to give credit where credit is do.
May God get the glory among those who know me or know of me, at the very least. May it be apparent to all of them that my goal is to glorify Him and not myself. May my goal genuinely always BE to glorify God and not myself.
If I serve a 20 year total from last year's date of enlistment, I have 999 weeks left at this point.
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