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
Saturday, November 10, 2007
(I disclaim here that when I very first heard about the book, I really thought I had heard about a general book, not one very much focused on marraige, but it turns out that I was wrong -- which is the case more often than I think I let across.. Anyway, they've got other volumes now, I think, but I haven't looked at that title in a while... but having read the marraige one years ago, it may not always translate to general and especially workplace knowledge as much..)
So, first off, I love. I love people, I love animals, I love nature, I have a very high capacity for love. I love people I don't know, and I love people I know too well. I hurt when someone hurts, animal or plant or otherwise. I love THINGS and CONCEPTS and IDEAS sometimes more than the tangible. I love God. I love Jesus. I love the amazing world God has created for us.
Second, love can make me very uncomfortable... sometimes. I do not think that I receive love very well unless it is subtle and in certain specific ways (more on that in a moment). I can get very suspicious or very weirded-out... like I don't know WHY people would think so highly of me. That is why love I can receive comfortable has got to be subtle .. if you are aware of my faults, it won't be overblown, it won't be so blunt... and if you are not aware of my faults, you are not really loving ME. Now, subtle love is not any less strong... in fact, I think it can be stronger. It's like quiet moments with your deepest friends... you don't have to be saying things to eachother all the time about how great your friend is and how he or she really likes your shirt... you can just sit and be quiet, or share the most silly, mundane little things. I think there are merits to all types (it takes different strokes to make the world go around, after all) but for me, I do not easily handle many types.
Third, love is a very, very, very intense thing sometimes. A sunset will catch me off-guard and make my heart choke up. A child sleeping, or running, or laughing, can make me feel swollen all over in a good way. An old couple walking along hand-in-hand, with the marks of a long life all over their faces and intertwined hands, will stop time for me. A flower about to bloom, or a cat blinking sleepily, an old photograph, or a singing bird ... all of these can make my throat close a little and my lungs tighten. The idea of harmony, of selflessness, of potential, can make me dizzy. I can only handle so much intensity, and so I block out a significant amount of my sensory experiences each day, because I do have such a high capacity for love that I would probably love this world to death if I felt it all. This is another reason love can make me uncomfortable. Physically, it can be very uncomfortable to experience love. I think that sitting with my niece, watching a sunset, in a garden, petting a cat, talking about truth and beauty... I think this would be way too much for me to handle.
All of that in mind, this is how I relate to each of the love languages:
Gifts --- I love to give gifts, especially small little tokens like the paper cranes or straw-wrapper roses I make habitually. I love knowing somebody to the point where something I see in a store is either right for them or not, and the right things will just jump out and scream that person's name. I do not like receiving gifts, small little tokens or otherwise, except in very, very rare circumstances. Things I received in my childhood that I've hung onto are proof of those exceptions, as they still have high sentimental value. But these items are few and far between.
Words of Affirmation --- these tend to make me uncomfortable in both giving and receiving. I will THINK things regularly, but I will not say them often. I have a higher compulsion to tell a stranger something affirming than someone I know, perhaps because I know it's probably my only chance. I do not like receiving most words of affirmation. I need them sometimes, but I do not often like them ... but when I do need them, it'll be hours after someone said something that it'll finally process and I'll finally realize that I needed it and how much it meant.
Acts of Service --- this is a very particular one for me, in giving and receiving. In some ways, I feel like it's just an expected thing for everyone in the world to treat eachother with this general civility. I used to rely on rides to and from functions because of that underlying expectation, for example. Acts of Service can too easily become an "Oh, you shouldn't have. No, really!" kind-of experience, though. These, like gifts, are very hit-or-miss.. the thought should count, but it doesn't always, especially when the product is then an extra item you're expected to tote around or a well-intentioned mistake. Like the story of the youth group trying to weed the garden of a shut-in, but instead they pulled out her most valued seedlings. So, I like to offer acts that are non-obligatory... the moment I feel I am obligated, it loses its personal value. I am sure that I have received (and felt the love intended in) actions much more often than I'm aware, but I honestly cannot think of some good examples right now. I know that if a motive is to impress, to earn a favor, or to indenture me, this is no longer a real Act of Service, of course. And there's nothing wrong with Networking, but let's not confuse networking with love and/or giving.
Physical Touch --- One of the reasons that I need in-person friends in my life is that I do feel more connected to humanity in general when I can tap someone's shoulder to get their attention or touch an elbow when making a significant point. Physical touch, as I'm sure anyone can imagine, has GOT to be from people that one is comfortable with in order to be a love language... there's nothing like having a creepy guy brush against you in the subway to make your stomach turn. Or worse, that creepy co-worker standing right behind you at the company potluck, who grabs the spoon for the macaroni salad at the same time as you and your skin starts burning. On the contrary, some of my best memories during my high-school years were having a big group of friends piled up in the living room watching a movie, all strewn about like a disorganized heap of laundry, but we all loved eachother and loved being together.
Qaulity Time --- also a significant part of those high-school memories, Quality Time is probably my strongest love language. Like with Physical Touch, Time around a creepy person or someone you just really don't like isn't Quality. And even when it is with someone you love, time when you may be in the same room but aren't really together may not be Quality. My time is very precious to me, and very begrudgingly spent on things of little value or when I have been obligated. So when I actually WANT to spend time with someone, or doing something, or even thinking about a concept, it shows a real love more than in any other way. When people invite me to parties or just to hang out, I can't be that bad, so I feel an affection there. When it becomes a regular event, they either haven't learned better yet or they really do care. Or both. So I feel loved in spending time with people. I feel loved by animals when they come to me for some low-energy attention, and I feel loved by nature when it displays its splendor in my presence. I feel loved by God because God is always, always reminding me of His love in so many ways. He speaks to me in coincidences most of all, I believe, and in strange provisions with no logical explanation. He blesses me in trials, because I know He is with me through them, and in joys, because I know He is smiling at my happiness. The trials and the joys are orchestrated as part of His plan (so far beyond my knowledge) for my life, and the fact that He took time to plan these out shows His love for me. Being able to use my trials to comfort others and make their lives better is proof positive for me that it IS a plan, among many other proofs. Most of all, I feel the love of God the way that I feel the love of my closest friends when we're sitting together quietly or even the way I feel the love of my closest friends as I write these blog entries and I know that they are reading.
Now, these are the same love languages for me whether at home, with friends, at work, out around town, or whatever the case may be --- the only things that change are the norms for appropriate expression (like usually not hugging in a workplace) and the intensity with which that norm will express the connection. But I do still make the little tokens for my coworkers (which, I don't know, could possibly not be so appreciated by some of them) or want to take my five-minute-water-cooler-break with people I enjoy being around, of course. For someone whose language is Words of Affirmation, they may need regular affirming at work as well as at home in order to feel like they should bother waking up in the morning.
Also, Love Languages are not the same as motivational tools. For example, I *Do* require positive verbal affirmation in order to keep being motivated to do my job, but no amount of recognition will make me feel Loved. I think maybe this is why it is not a love language for me ... when someone says nice things all the time, I feel like they're trying to motivate me... and when it's in the context of a personal relationship (as opposed to professional), I wonder what the motivation is supposed to be FOR. This is also why I never quite fit in in the sugary-sweet South. People are so ready to pour syrup over everything that is you, and I am not capable of this. It just doesn't occur to me that people would want to hear that it's so nice to see them outside of the conversational nicities standard in American interaction. I am from Boston, I am a yankee, I am from the colder NorthEast, where people just DO care about eachother, without having to SAY it all the time. Except I spent enough time in the South to learn to say "Love ya!" and hug people more than my New England relatives are used to doing or hearing.
So the next time I forget to tell you that you're important to me, please know I love you all the same.
Wow. Insight Into Patty 101. I don't think I've ever written anything so personal soul-baring on my blog. Thanks for the post. :-)
Thank you for your words of Affirmation, Andrew.. you're just the best comment-leaver ever! ;)
Beth, yah, as I was writing, I was thinking "how personal am I really gonna get, and does this have the potential to change any of my current relationships (on my part or theirs, for better or worse)?" But it just kept coming out. Maybe it's because I can't wear tank-tops here. ;)
And thank you for your response, Patty. You must be a very grateful individual. You should feel good about that.
Also, this was the first time I'd been by in a while and I felt guilty coming across something this personal casually and hope you don't mind that I read it 'cause it was there and it was interesting and I have no self control please don't hate me okeybye.
Dude, it's a blog. On the internet.Post a Comment
But meanwhile, you reminded me that I've been meaning to add a big security feature where the page starts out with an entry portal that says "I certify that I (fill in name here) am a regular reader of this blog, or if I am not, I will only read the lighthearted entries, should I be able to find any."
But I just haven't gotten to that yet...
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