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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

i find it difficult

i find it difficult to separate and identify my motives. this is perhaps a first for me, ever. it becomes even stranger to think about when i realize that, whatever the motives might be, i know they are all good ones.

i find it difficult to listen to a God when His reply may be scrambled by my own. i wonder if He hesitates to reply telepathically, for that very reason.

i find it difficult to use the Bible for what it was originally intended. i think perhaps the Word finds it difficult to use me.

i find it difficult to obey when it costs me something i truly value, without feeling entitled to a subsequent blessing. i am willing to obey regardless, but in certain cases, having been brutally disabused of that feeling, i discover that i obey grudgingly.

i find it difficult to deal with this particular reality of life, though i often preach it to others: that while God does care about a person's happiness (e.g. mine), He cares far more about that person's holiness. furthermore, as if i did not have enough difficulty in life already, He asks that i care about my holiness more than i care about my happiness.

i find God difficult.

Friday, November 27, 2009

vacuum musica, vita erratum

thanks Nietzsche.

it's probably a good idea to remember that, while struggling to become the me i think i ought to be, i ought to partly be the me i already be.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

enough

i have spent so much time and energy critiquing my thoughts, beliefs, values... i really feel and think that i deserve to be very confident about them. a person can be confident without being arrogant. a person can hold strong opinions without being unreasonably stubborn. a person can be strong without being a bully.

i am ready to give up on my relationships because despite how hard i've worked to understand and better them, despite how much pain i've purposefully endured and despite my loyalty to the values that are necessary for having good relationships, i've somehow failed.

i don't care that anyone judges me. i do care whether my friends misjudge me.
i care whether friends misjudge me not because that misjudgment causes me to doubt myself, but because their misjudgment tears down and hinders the relationship i'm seeking and working to build up and help.

i know who and what and how and why i am, regardless of what anyone else says to tear that down. i don't fear being damaged by an attack; i fear the damage done to my friendships with people when i am attacked.

i care what people think about me, not because it changes how i think or feel about myself, but because the way people think about me negatively affects the friendship i have with them.

when the person closest to you is the person who tears you down the most; when the person closest to you is the person who misunderstands you the most; when the person closest to you is the person whose relationship with you is the relationship for which you work the hardest, yet that person is also the person who tears down their relationship with you the most; what do you do?

i don't see the point of trying to build up relationships with people who distrust me, misunderstand me, tear me down. i would gladly let them do so if it helped our relationship, and maybe even if it somehow helped them... but it doesn't help anything at all. vanity of vanities. best laid plans.

i will never be intimidated into giving up on things i value. but i could be persuaded if the argument were sound. right now, it may not be sound, but for some reason it's still so persuasive. and why shouldn't i? would it really matter?

and it all seems so helpless, and i have no plans
i'm a plane in the sunset, with nowhere to land
and i feel stuck watching history repeating
yeah, who am i? just a kid who knows he's blogging

let me know that You're near me
let me feel Your touch
let me know that You love me
let that be...

blue moon

i am losing control of my rational decision-making ability.

Monday, September 28, 2009

yoga

after much practice/experience/trial-and-error, i have become capable of knowing what type of food or drink my body needs at any given time. i know when it needs water and not juice, when it needs protein rather than starch, and when dessert is a bad idea.

i have also come to know the difference between the need to blog and the need to sit and just think; the difference between needing to listen to music and to make it; the difference between needing sleep and needing to just close my eyes and rest. subconsciously, intuitively, or sometimes even viscerally, i know what i need in those situations.

the needs that continue to elude me have mostly to do with my social life. sometimes i need to be around family, but i don't know that unless i end up spending time with them. sometimes i need to compete against a worthy opponent... but i don't know that, either, unless it happens to me somehow. sometimes, very very rarely, i need to cry. but of course i don't realize that until afterward.

the problem with knowing what my social needs are, is that i can't keep my friends in the pantry. so even if i did know, what good would that do? i need to not only learn the signs that tell me i'm lonely. i need to live in an environment where, if i do realize i need company, i can quickly seek and find it. i need to be able to discern what kind of company i need, but i also need that company to be available.

it's strange that i'm writing these things, because i'm the most solitary person i know. i need to be with myself more than anyone else i know needs to be with lenself. so what in the world is happening to me?

the reason i can't figure myself out is that i've based my studies on the assumption that i am gradually becoming less and less malleable. but perhaps i ought to assume instead that i do not know how much change to expect any more than i know what kind to expect or when.

Friday, September 11, 2009

this

in war, both sides lose. in friendship, both win. in wars between friends, the attempt to win, though cruel, is too absurd to not be funny. the difference between this and suicide is that a suicidal person is in agreement with himself. the difference between this and something people laugh at is that we find it much easier to laugh at cruelties we've never experienced. the difference between this and competing against oneself is that the latter grows us whereas the former destroys us. the difference between this and a conflict between countries is that countries can be destroyed completely, thereby ending the conflict.

the difference between me and a combatant who surrenders, is that the combatant can declare the matter concluded, while my surrender simply ensures that there will be more combat in the future.

reposte: in my head

if only you had two eyes,
how gladly i would blind them,
and send you stumbling far from here.
-
and suppose you had two hands--
how tightly i would bind them,
in honor of your cruel career.



let's pretend you're made of flesh!
how gleefully i'd gore you
for all the work you've done today.
-
make believe you have a heart,
and i could tear it from you...
i'd giggle like a child at play.



what if you were my own blood?
i'd slash my veins to drain you,
your gurgling screams: my peaceful song.
-
and if I were God Himself?
how wrathfully I'd send you
down to the Pit where you belong.



~ ~ ~



what if i flee by dreaming?
how patiently you're waiting
for me to wake. your eyes: deep red.
-
you torture me with anger.
how strange that i would help you,
yet long to conquer you instead.

Monday, August 31, 2009

dear pair-of-eyes-a-closing-one,

i'm pleased to report that i am not dying... neither have i been left behind, nor am i losing myself. i am simply suppressed.

i'm told my first word (perhaps after "mama" and/or "dada") was "no!" and i've learned that this is truly significant because it represents one of my most prominent and enduring personality traits: sheer force of will. i think if i could manifest it as a physical weapon, i would be tempted towards terrorism and world domination.

my own confession reminds me that my will can indeed manifest as a weapon, indirectly. in fact, though i have control over it, it sometimes circumvents me, especially in moments of strong emotion. but all of that has to do with its negative side. it can be problematic, but it can also be opportunistic.

what makes me a night owl is not just the fact that i do function better at night. it's also the fact that i would rather function at night. and that preference is not just a result of my capability; it's part of my personality as much as my capability is. so when 9 o'clock rolls around and my body begs for rest, my mind seeks out tasks and considers which hobbies it might engage itself in. so now is a great time for both a 9-hour nap as well as a game of chess or a self-centered blog entry.

i am simultaneously a night person and a day-laborer, so i simultaneously want to pour myself into a project and throw myself into bed. and i will always be this way. i may come to accept the nausea and depression that accompany an early alarm, but i will never be rid of either. i may get in the habit of falling asleep before 10p, but i'll never be content in that habit.

and these things may be a great source of stress and frustration and a desperate longing to be free of these constraints, but that consistent longing should also remind me that though i cannot conquer what now seem to be problems, they will never conquer me either. some of the stories that interest me most (both fictional and historical) do so because they describe how a person or group or even a value, struggle long and hard against some great antagonist which hinders life as it was meant to be lived; but ends in a glorious revolution or rescue or combination of the two.

i am too nearsighted. from now on i will spend more energy than i have before, looking forward to the future i want to believe in... ...partly because i know that wanting to believe in something proves an extant belief in something, and because belief in my life tends to affect my most important decisions, which usually alter my life drastically, even if those alterations are slow and gradual.

so if i don't meet you this Friday morning at 9:03a, i'm sure you'll be around again four weeks later, and again four weeks after that. don't give up on me. one of these bright rendezvous will be less melancholy and more celebratory.

sincerely,
s02e06_the_schizoid_man

p.s. that might be the first time i've ever used the word 'rendezvous' in its plural form, which is funny because it looks the same.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

hamartia

i am undone and remade over and over. i think this is my constant fate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

brb

...just as soon as i find a way out of this. it's actually almost poetically ironic, the fact that my work has so much to do with sunlight. i'm perpetually evanescing. i've been a waning crescent ever since i started here. isn't 17 months a little long to be waiting for the next full moon?

okay so maybe i occasionally shine brightly enough to cast a shadow or two. that's still not the way things are supposed to be. i realize a million things aren't the way they're supposed to be, but honestly, i don't worry much (if at all) about the ones that can't be changed.

i am usually less than half myself. it doesn't make sense to live this way. but the way out will require more of me, and... sorry to be a wuss, but it's an intimidating road.

something must be done, and i must be the one to do it. the amount of hope one has in the 'it' ever being done is inversely proportional to how well one knows me... which leaves me very discouraged. i'm about as hopeful of my own return as you would be if someone left you with a 'brb' on your screen for 17 months. maybe the more i talk about it, the more driven i'll be to act about it.

oh who am i fooling.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

life and love and WHY?

it seems to me that the most dangerous thing a woman can do is let her so-called luck decide the quality of her love life. (luck: a clever synonym for either "i guess hopeful ignorance is the best we have until we all evolve into clairvoyants" or else "if i only knew how much the past i didn't choose dictates the future i don't realize i'm choosing.")

becoming the love of a woman's life gradually (or, sadly, sometimes suddenly) gives a guy access to the rest of the woman's life in every other area, and even to the woman herself! the rewards of good luck can never compare to the rewards for hard work & careful, responsible choices, but the consequences of bad luck can ruin everything, in a heartbeat... sometimes everything including the heartbeat, which is a horrible but true thought.

and how can we spend so much time and effort choosing which new shirt or CD to buy, but still call blind dates fun? shouldn't we be calling them Russian roulette? i realize one can be responsible and careful when going on blind dates, but really... the people who do so are basically playing Russian roulette with a cap gun. i still don't get the point of it. wouldn't you rather play a game with less chance and higher stakes? less danger, more reward? less risk to your heart, and more potential for a life of fulfillment and dreams come true?

i'm sure most of the people who read this are not the people who most need to hear it, but perhaps one or two of you can be reminded of what you are now realizing you already know. and maybe the rest of you will have an opportunity to pass it on.

sorry to sound like a dad, but it must be said: be cerebral when it comes to romance. enjoy your friendships, but let your values inform and even critique your affections. learn from your past so that you can choose the future that's best for you. wait for the right(eous) person. be patient. seek the advice of someone wiser and calmer than you. don't let your destiny choose you, because i'm telling you, there are many more undesirable destinies out there than there are desirable ones.

let's see, what other tired old platitudes can i employ here to overemphasize and complicate my relatively simply message...? oh, hey, how about this: life is like a box of chocolates. you have to really hunt around for the yummy ones. no, no... that 'y' word gives the opposite of the impression i'm aiming for. i need something on the borderline between sobering and scary. how about this instead:

the dating game is like a white elephant gift exchange, except you play it with a bunch of strangers who don't even know themselves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant_gift_exchange

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

reposte: rebuilding my faith (#1)

the truth is, friends, i've arrived at this point: i know that i believe what i want to believe, because if i didn't believe it, i wouldn't want to.

=)

once more, rephrased: if i don't really think God Loves me, then why am i trying to find out that He does?

notice how this gets past the whole debate of whether He actually does Love me or not. that question can be asked, but there will never be an answer until these two things happen: 1) i faith that He does, and 2) He returns. i await the Second Coming just like the faithful Jews once awaited their Messiah. two things here: first, when i use faith as a verb, that's not my exhaustion showing. that's my [attempt at] careful, creative thinking and helpful rhetoric. the word will be redefined later on.

the purpose of this blog is to provide a practical way of life that nurtures and develops your faith as a Christian. and my faith as well; you should know that i'm just now beginning to walk this path that i'm here proposing for you as well. consider this an informal [yet still official] invitation to walk life with me.

the idea of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, as developed by a professor of mine here at VU, is this: you can tell what a church believes, just by singing their worship songs with them, and praying their prayers with them. it's that simple! obviously these will only give you glimpses of their beliefs, and it's true that even within a small, local congregation, there's a diversity of beliefs (personal theologies, if you will). but yeah: if they sing about the Trinity, they believe in the Trinity. if they pray, "Spirit, breathe life into this imperfect body..." then that's a good indication they depend on the Holy Spirit for their ministry, and not just Christ.

let's take it a step further, and reiterate something you've probably heard as long as you've been a Christian: you can tell what a person believes, just by seeing how they live their lives. because, as one blogger recently noted, isn't worship all about your whole life?? aren't we supposed to present ourselves as living sacrifices?

oh, that reminds me. you need to know that you do not have a body.

you heard me. sorry if you've heard it all before, but it has to be set down as a foundation for the rest of this blog. you don't even have a soul! the truth is, a couple thousand years ago, a bunch of Greek philosophers decided that the human person is divided into parts. they say (and millions still believe) that you've got a soul, and you've got a body, and you've got a mind... and so on. furthermore, they believed that spirit is good and matter is bad. we'll get into that some more, later on.

anyway, the point i want to make: you are a soul, and you are a body. you are a mind, and heart. you don't possess them; you are them. this is vital for our so-called 'spiritual life.' the truth is that everything you do in your body is also everything you do in your soul. this doesn't mean that just because you're raising your hands, you're worshipping God; that's quite a different problem, and it involves intent. what it does mean is that if you don't have a bodily life, you don't have a spiritual life.

one more, rephrased: if you are not worshipping God in/with your body, then you aren't worshipping Him at all. (and i do mean worship in the holistic sense.)

~ ~ ~

"get to the point, man."

alright, alright... here it is.

stop believing in God...
...unless
you intend to believe in Him with your whole life.


do you believe in Him only as a mind? if so, then you don't believe in Him. and if you're having trouble even with just that, then this blog is for you.

that means your morning routine, your activities at church, the way you go about your relationships, the thoughts you have as you fall asleep, the way you handle your feelings, the attitude you have at work, the money you spend... these are all your life, yes? then you need to faith with them.

it makes no more sense to believe in God only as a mind (and not as a soul/body/heart) then it does to be married to your wife only as a mind. it's just ludicrous. it can't be done. this is problem #1 with my spiritual life: i call it my spiritual life, instead of [more simply] my life.

one qualification: this doesn't mean that you do everything for Jesus. you don't have to pour yourself a cup of iced tea for Jesus; you don't have to tie your shoelaces for Jesus. generally, it won't be necessary to ask God which pair of jeans you should wear tomorrow. what i am saying is that you need to work at your spiritual life just as you would work at some athletic training. you need to devote energy and resources to the development of your faith, just as you would devote resources to getting your Bachelor's degree or building a house with your own two hands!

if you do not live your life in this way, with work and your whole self in mind, your faith will falter and die.

but if you do live your life with hard work and your whole self in mind, your faith will grow. i promise.

"isaiah... i just don't know. how in the world can you promise this."

i'll tell you later. lol spiritual life lesson #1: patience. and how are we going to learn it? by waiting, of course! =)

i'll post again soon.

[
Originally posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006]