tags

friendship (105) growth (101) pain (78) needs (75) failure (72) ghost (52) success (47) letter (43) teaching (35) marker (33) divorce (29) romance (28) story (28) introvert (27) music (27) samishii (25) grey (18) takara (18) beauty (16) marriage (15) essencia (14) moon (13) ekklesia (12) prayer (11) followup (9) guest (9) poemy (9) request (8) creativity (7) family (7) estonia (6) transposte (5) apostasy (4) müsteerium (4) dearjeeling (3) holiday (3) reply (2) storms (2) TCLewis (1) TRANONT (1) elmadu (1) hakunamatata (1)

Friday, December 28, 2012

foolishnesses

one of the best uses i've found for this blog, is to identify foolishnesses. wow, that word isn't underlined in red... i think my blog is finally learning that i have the power to Create and Destroy language.

tonight's foolishness identification is about my search for fulfillment, and the tendency i have to place long-lasting importance on temporary pleasures. and the tendency i have to invest in an uncertain future. and the tendency i have to prepare for what will very likely change.

like the time i decided Cheetos were my favorite snack. i thought that would be true forever. foolishness.

or the time i bought a whole box of Oreos, only to realize later on that i really only wanted three or four cookies.

or the time i wanted to be a paleontologist, and for a year or two all of my birthday and Christmas wish lists (as a child) were filled with dinosaur paraphernalia. this was preceded by my locomotive engineer phase, and followed by my chemist phase.

or the time i poured an entire bottle of bubble solution into my bath, because i figured there can never be too much of a good thing.

or the time i opened a bottle of wine, simply because the same vintage tasted excellent last time... but now the bottle sits 2/3 full and i wish i had just poured myself some tea instead (because that's what my body really needed).

or the time i got married.

or the time i bought myself an ongoing gym membership.

or the time i thought my best friend (at that time) would never change. or the time i did that again with the best friend i had after that.



some foolishnesses are allowed and expected. maybe they are even unavoidable. others are very avoidable, and should be outlawed.

some foolishnesses, i am currently perpetrating. they must cease if i am to get through this without causing any more destruction or regret.

i will begin tonight.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

grey area

i am uncomfortable talking about my social strengths. i don't want to sound like i have a... delusion of grandeur, or... a superiority complex (not sure that's a real term, or the proper term, but since when has my blog cared about academic propriety in the realm of vocabulary??). i really hope that i don't actually have one. but there's no way to express what i'm thinking without taking that risk.

--end disclaimer--

i had a full page typed out, but i just deleted it because i realized that the conclusions to which my introspection had brought me were mostly too questionable to trust. so here goes attempt #2, and it will likely be much simpler and shorter than what i had originally planned. so be it.

in 9th grade i addressed God directly and genuinely for the first time. i had realized that all of the goals i wanted to accomplish in life, all of the things i held most dear (or wanted to hold most dear), hinged on what i decided to do with my faith, my spirituality. and so i told God that i would need His involvement. He responded positively to this request.

shortly after that, i realized that the two most important things in life (to me personally) were pleasing God and loving people. all of my research strongly indicated that loving people was an excellent way to please God, and perhaps my best shot at doing so. thus i decided to do that.

at this point things became somewhat dangerous. i have good friendships with guys, and have since i was young... but when it comes to the emotional aspect of friendships, i relate much more (and much more easily) with women.

"what's wrong with that, isaiah?"

here is what's wrong with that: the people most receptive to my goal in life (loving people) were women who had been 'unloved' in some significant way. i found myself showing patience, kindness, gentleness, commitment, and so on, to girls who were in particular need of these things. i even developed the ability to detect that need in girls, sometimes after only a few words exchanged, and sometimes **just by looking at them.** i also developed the ability to interact with these women in a personal and... effective way.

~ ~ ~

it's time for the FAQ.

"what effects did you have?"

i'll get to that.

"are you saying you emotionally manipulate women for their benefit?"

yes.

"...did you do that to me?"

if you call genuine kindness manipulation, then yes.

"are you my friend just because you think i need someone?"

no. i find you attractive in multiple ways and am very blessed to know you.

"if at some point i didn't need you at all, and the emotional connection faded out, would we still talk and stuff, or would you just peace out?"

that depends on two things: 1) what would you prefer? 2) what is the substance of our friendship apart from the kindness i show to you?

~ ~ ~

the way i describe it here, it sounds like i'm telling the story of how a super-villain acquired his mutation and set himself up for an attempt to rule / ruin the world. at least, that's how it sounds to me. but the truth is that i've used it for good. **always.** i know my sins. i know my failures and flaws. this-- my ability and intention to relate well with women for the purpose of making their lives a little bit more bearable-- is not one of my failures. i'm sure my flaws are mixed in, or perhaps this is a result of them, but i have both intended and accomplished good. i know this to be true and will defend it expertly if needed.

and it is needed, because i myself attack it regularly, and have done so ever since my second or third semester at VUSC.

"why have you done that, isaiah?"

because at least six of these females (in the overall group of maybe two dozen or so, so far) developed romantic feelings for me during the course of my friendship with them. (i say "at least" to imply that the rest may or may not have developed that type of feeling; i really don't know.)

four of them expressed a desire to marry me. they expressed this verbally and in other ways.

(quick partially-tangential flashback: when i was in JUNIOR HIGH, a really attractive high-school girl two grades ahead of me asked me to date her. i turned her down because i knew she wouldn't be satisfied with me, but still. is that normal? maybe it's normal. but if so, it should be normal only for social, charismatic, attractive guys. that's not JH home-schooled bowl-cut isaiah. i shouldn't have to convince anyone of that. okay moving on.)

"so you developed crushes on each other. so what? some girls crush easily."

no, hypothetical-person-who-graciously-serves-as-my-foil. the feelings weren't mutual. i loved them, in action and in my heart, but not romantically. basically i made a really intense and conscious decision to treat them really well. this decision was fueled by many of my strongest personality traits and self-chosen values, so it may have sort of... over-developed. and it turned out to be sort of dangerous. (another funny flashback story: all of this actually has its roots in like 5th grade, when i got angry at all the guys at church for treating all the girls like crap all the time. as a 5th-grader, i decided to be super-nice to all those girls in order to make up for the wrongs always being done to them. affirmative action?? something like that. it was dumb stuff: i opened doors for them, let them cut in line, gophered, etc. i didn't have selfish intentions... i really just thought the guys were stupid and the girls deserved better. this pseudo-chivalry evolved later on by attaching to my fundamental values in a symbiotic way. okay moving on again.)

here's the thing: had i not been a one-on-one kind of guy, or had i related with guys more easily, things would've been really different. a double-handful of interesting things all came together to create this mess that i really need to put a name to, but haven't yet. i should probly do that. maybe it'll work well as a post title (that field is blank at this time).

this is difficult for me to post publicly, because i don't want to make anyone feel less special or valued to me. each of you (most of "you" won't ever read this, but some will, and you are important to me, and i want to be sensitive) is *extremely* important to me. each of you occupies a unique place in my past and my present. each of you shaped / shapes / will shape me in unique ways. i hate lumping you all together into a category, but i must, for the sake of this writing. please understand.

but... look at what i'm saying! isn't it a little odd? doesn't it deserve further questioning? where does something like this fit into society? should i cease to love the people who respond the most to my 'ministry'?

i really don't have the answer to that question yet, though i've been asking it for years.

hold on tight. it gets worse.

~ ~ ~

i have this other problem where, even though i have been mostly a lone wolf by default all my life, college + church + marriage + other things have created in me a new dependency on people. i think it is a healthy kind, in and of itself, at its root; but the loneliness created by marriage ("you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone") is extremely problematic for me.

this is what i am right now, in this chapter of my story:
- socially / emotionally needy
- prone to romantic attachment
- dedicated to caring for the girls in my life who receive little care elsewhere (or those who are damaged by past or current mistreatment)
- likely to evoke emotional attachment (of substance; not just crushes)
- an all-or-nothing type of person, in endeavors/relationships of ANY kind
- in the process of a divorce

this is what's called an effed-up situation. i am unwilling or unable to change each of those ingredients in the effed-up soup, at least for the next 6-12 months, but likely much longer.

it's bothering me so much, i feel like i've written only half of what needs to be said. i'm not being dishonest with myself; i truly lack the wisdom to resolve it in my own mind. i've talked with multiple male role models about it, on several occasions, but i mostly just get "good job; be careful."

maybe it's just something i have to live with. maybe, because of my choices, it's my job to just deal with my own feelings in my usual way (with cold logic and a desperate will to do the right thing).

another reason i find this difficult to post publicly, is that it might change some of my existing relationships. you might respond negatively. you might withdraw, or be upset, or... whatever. i don't want that. but i have to do this. i have to be honest and open. i apologize for whatever mistakes i've made along the way that brought me (and you, sort of) here.

all of this deserves a great deal of additional analysis. in the meantime though, i think i've said all i can. what should i call all of it

how about...



~ ~ ~

EDIT: i forgot to list the positive effects i've had. it would feel super arrogant to quote everyone here, but basically these girls/ladies have expressed intense gratitude. some of them did so at the end of our FIRST conversation. most of them cried at some point (the healthy kind of tears). many of them reciprocated my care, sometimes in situations where i really needed that.

so, addendum to the FAQ:

"so these were mostly one-sided relationships?"

well, only sometimes, and only partially. i benefited at least by feeling like i was fulfilling my purpose, and sometimes also by being encouraged or supported in specific ways.

"are you sure you did the right thing?"

i am not the kind of person to think well of myself by default. i mostly minimize my successes (if i notice them), and magnify my faults and failures. but over a dozen years of intense gratitude and long conversations have convinced me that yes, i did SOMEthing right, and succeeded. the evidence is somewhat overwhelming. this is fortunate, because memories of doing wrong things weigh me down quite a bit. they poison me. but this is also unfortunate, because i cannot simply say, "i was wrong," and abandon my self-appointed post.

Monday, December 24, 2012

and oh, the rain, the dark, the ocean winds

technically, i slept in this morning. but i woke up at 5:15a, 6:20a, 7:45a, and then once more a little while-ish after that. i realize in retrospect that it would've been much easier to ask Gmail to forward certain notifications to my phone, rather than wake up four times in one morning. but it's not like i planned that. in fact i should probably drug myself tonight to make sure it doesn't happen a third time in a row tomorrow morning.

it's a really gorgeous morning. last night's nearly-non-stop rain thoroughly cleared the air. the radiance and the cold wind are a nice mountain-y pairing. and most of everything is still wet and shiny. unfortunately my hands are starting to freeze; i may have to reposition. i just don't want to be in view of the baristas whilst enjoying this Padron Maduro-- which, by the way, is interacting very strangely with my triple-shot latte. (but i'm not complaining.)

i think the 6 old men drinking from thermoses and smoking cigarettes are two tads jelly-poo.

dang it... i was about to offer to bring some drinks back for my siblings, but i just realized i've got my bike instead of my car. i found the battery dead again this morning; i probably hit the fog light switch by accident. :(

this post is abnormal in its casual-ness. i came here for i-time, intending to blog, but not knowing what i would write about. normally that results in either a few trashed post-attempts, or a feeble, sickly post that is supposed to remind me of where i was (when i come back to read this months or years later) but of course i almost never do remember. for some reason concepts and theories and abstracts serve as better temporal anchors than tangible details and circumstances do. i'm wired weirdly.

this morning's concepts have to do with my response to life's ups and downs.

a few years ago i would've analyzed my outward responses. i would've asked questions like, "did i do the right thing?" and "what can i do better in the future?" but lately this strange derivative has been emerging-- i think i've mentioned it before, here-- and it's a little disorienting. but at the same time, it promises some kind of improved perspective, if i can master it.

it's like this: there are two ways in which i need to start processing my life differently than i normally do.

1) i need to zoom out. there's just too much that goes wrong when i obsess over each and every decision. i think i might have spent my life judging my whole self via each PARTicular mistake. this is foolish. "why, isaiah?" because then i judge myself a complete failure. (please note, future-me-who-reads-this, that i said each 'mistake,' not each 'decision. that's because i am mostly blind to most of my good decisions.)

but: if i look at my life by paragraph, or by chapter, or by arc (i can't insert links from my mobile; google "story arc"), then i begin to see grace at work-- not only through forgiveness but through redemption and re-construction as well. this isn't just a matter of allowing myself some encouragement now and then. it's a matter of understanding my own story, so that i can fulfill it.

zooming out is necessary, for my health and for my purpose.

2) i need to acknowledge the good i've done. this, i have blogged already, but i was unsure of it at the time. i am now convinced, having tried it out and chewed on it more. i did it grudgingly, and it was tough (the way jerky is tough when consumed post-expiration-date); but it was healthy for me.

those who know me should be having their gasts flabbered at these words... pleasantly, though. at least i hope so. trust me, my gast is no less flabbered. but i must acknowledge the necessity. in the same way that this heavenly vitamin-d treatment is bringing me to life (with the help of Padron, Klipsch, Zagg, Apple, Starbux, totes perf weather, Google [via Blogger], JetLine, and Gary Fischer, and you, my undeserved reader), the recognition of the positive things i have done (and the positive things that i AM) will keep at bay the mind-fog that has mostly dominated my life since late high-school.

marriage was particularly mind-fogging. not marriage itself, of course, but marriage to Valerie. you could say i was fogged up. :D oh the joy of bitter humor.

but seriously: i am blogging again! that in itself is a sign of health.

anyway... bottom line: acknowledge the good in me. despite my religious upbringing (mine in particular; not religion itself), despite my Puddleglum personality, despite my cruel conscience, i must do this. i have decided to do it. i am doing it. and so one of my deepest darkest shadows is chased away. farewell, jerk. you claimed to know me well, but it was a deception of the subtlest and most dangerous kind.


being aware of what i need is an intense joy. one moment i was rocking myself gently to wakefulness, the next i was subconsciously absorbing the wafting scent of fresh coffee all the way from the kitchen to the far west bedroom, and thinking to myself, "i want coffee and sunshine. and my blog. and Jono. and passion/black tea." i feel alive.

i feel alive, even though my mistakes still weigh on me. i feel able to carry them. i feel able to meet what comes next. i feel confident, determined... i feel like myself.

except for my freezing fingers. this concludes this experiment in freezing my fingers off. thank you for reading. i mean that very sincerely.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

sleep deprivation is underrated

i have not been this pleased with the results of (and reasons for) sleep deprivation since VUSC. that is a big deal for me.

i have posted before about how i value my own writings. it isn't narcissism... i'm embarrassed to varying degrees by most posts. there are a few i like well enough to Share and take pride in. but the reason i value them is because they remind me of who i am, and who i am trying to be.

this is encouraging because i fail a lot. like today and recently. and sometimes i need someone whose mind i understand and trust to say, "hey. your failure hasn't changed your core, nor should it alter your goals. in fact, here: let me help you understand something that you've forgotten."

my past self is a teacher well-suited to my present self. i feel this way about old conversations, as well, especially with those who communicate well, and double-especially with those whose hearts and minds were laid bare to me (whether at my invitation or by their instinctive response to me baring my own, via my posts).

so what is it saying to me today?


you forget too much. 

and it isn't because you don't sleep enough.

truthfully, you've been asleep too long.

wake up.

~      ~      ~



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

and goodnight

tonight Pastor Cameron encouraged me, and then i came home double exhausted. but i couldn't stay away from my newly beloved MXL.

https://soundcloud.com/isaiah-james-micu/acappullaby

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"trophies;" or, "to be constantly arriving"

a thought has been recurring to me the past year or so, something subtle but intense.

i focus so much on the events, the content, of life itself. i agonize over this or that decision, reflect on or run from the memory of each & every experience, and even reflection on concepts comes as a result of my need to understand and improve my life. and i look ahead to the future, wondering whether i can succeed, overcome, endure, grow, and do the right things; make the right choices.

but part of me has been quietly insisting that i should not be rowing so hard, if my destinations will always be ahead of me. part of me has been quietly insisting that i am constantly arriving.

every time i make a choice that is right, i am relieved; but rarely do i celebrate. in fact i rarely dwell upon the victories i achieve, even when the goal i meet is one that i set for myself. it is good to decide for oneself what one's goals are, rather than simply trying to please others or respond to the external all the time. so, why do i not take more satisfaction in my personal achievements?

and why do i reflect far more intensely and frequently on my failures and shortcomings? why am i so strongly predisposed to focus on what i lack, on where i am not yet, on the things left undone? is it right to be this way? is it wise? is it beneficial? see, even these questions arise from a driving need to become better!

where are my victory celebrations? where are my personal trophies, my moments of deep gratification based on achievements not worldly but wholly personal?

when i was young, sometime in junior high i think, i looked at my shelf full of judo trophies and medals, and asked myself, "why am i wasting space with these? they are ugly anyway, and dusty, and mostly plastic." so i threw them all into the garbage.

i don't regret that action. judo was fun, but not a foundational value.

but perhaps i have made a mistake. perhaps, in keeping with my self-deprecating, self-effacing ways, i have thrown away other awards, other moments of needed recognition that should have been kept.

or worse: perhaps i have placed on my inner walls tangible reminders of my failures. perhaps there are gargoyles, the likenesses of demons, flanking the walkway to my front door. and perhaps they are not entirely lifeless.

perhaps i carry objects of penance on my back every day. perhaps i lock myself in the stocks every night, and wait for ghosts of my past to throw stones and rotted things.

perhaps i need to learn how to stop punishing myself. perhaps i have some dark trophies to throw out, some chains (which i myself forged) to break.

i must think on it more.

to be aware of every small victory, every step toward the finish line-- to recognize the value of forward motion itself, and not just the arrival-- perhaps that is something i need. to be constantly arriving, and to be aware of the value of this.

Friday, December 14, 2012

without me

i feel i am myself again. something about being in a sour lonely irritable mood due to sleep deprivation and lack of 1-on-1 close friend time really brings me back to the old days, when every day smelled like a musty journal and every train of thought brought me to a new realization about myself.

being surrounded by so many interesting strangers close to my age is contributing aswell. feels like the caf at VU. feels like i'm about to bring the meal back to my room to avoid the people who think they know me. feels like backtracking through the mess of furniture to clear a path for the attractive girl who would've otherwise had to step aside for me (=unacceptable by james kelling's standards).

i wish i could be more social, only for the sake of my siblings and cousins who sit nearby. but even now, after a long and difficult journey from fledgling introvert loner to enthusiastically socialized member of several tightly-knit communities, i do not choose my social mood. (perhaps no one does, but others seem to have better fortune than i do.)

this all feels too familiar for me to complain about it. like when your comfiest clothes are the ones with holes and rips in them: less functional, less appealing aesthetically, but still preferable because they make you feel more like yourself.

i am content with neither my past self nor my present, but returning to familiarity does help me to move forward somehow. maybe because it's a needed break from the push to progress.

i'm okay with this.

Monday, December 03, 2012

let it be so

a long time ago, in a ministry far away, i asked the slightly-younger-than-me teens around me to close their eyes. i asked them to imagine a coffee table, upon which lay a book entitled "my life." i asked them to imagine their own names (respectively) adorning their respective imaginary books, identifying the author[s].

i asked questions like these:
  • is it well worn, or hardly touched?
  • are there bookmarks? dog-ears?
  • look at the table of contents. how many chapters? what are their titles?
  • turn to the current chapter. what is it about?
  • what comes in the next chapter?
  • how will it end? 
  • how would you like it to end?
normally this memory prompts me to do exactly what i asked those teens to do. so i look at my blog, at how many posts per year, and because i've strolled this lane many times already, i have a pretty good idea of what my blog tells me about my life so far.

the posts i haven't reviewed nearly as much are, of course, the most recent: those of this and last year(s). and so i find there is still some reflectionary meat on those bones. and as i chew on those bones, i am inspired to blog. hmm... this post would have been much shorter if not for the need to explain itself. 

it has two purposes: 1) to identify the theme of this transitionary chapter, and 2) to reveal the co-Author's level of involvement.

the theme of this chapter, according to my own posts written before i even wondered what the theme was, is deconstruction in preparation for reconstruction of something better.

the co-Author's level of involvement, if my completely naive and yet astonishingly intuitive / borderline pre-cognitive prayer requests and expressed desires are any indication, is 100%.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

samishii iii

funny quote from 2006: "i think there is no chapter of my life that would be better suited by the title." - me

Thursday, November 22, 2012

the body

in the conflict between head and heart
the head has an ally the heart does not.


if i command my heart to cease its beat
it beats more loudly yet
and if i bid it search itself
most likely, it will proudly set its feet
and, standing fast, boast no regrets...
...and even if it searches,
what truth it finds, it soon forgets

if i beseech my heart, "receive the Word--
and be of heav'n reborn!"
the honorific capital:
ignored, or even scorned, it goes unheard
meanwhile the heart maintains its throne...
...and even it it listened,
would e'er remain a heart of stone

however

if i stretch out my hand, and strike a key
or burn the open book
if fingers grasp the turning wheel,
my heart must yield its pen, its house of leaves
it must give back the prize it took...
...the rudder to my vessel,
the tongue: the charge my mind forsook

if i take steps away from what i crave,
my heart bows to my mind
it could not bear the solitude.
no matter whether master, peer, or slave,
it starves and dies, if left behind...
...so, closely they must travel:
the two that God has intertwined


in the conflict between head and heart
the mind has an ally the heart does not.
it cannot be directed easily
but once it moves, the heart does too...

...eventually.

Monday, November 19, 2012

eisegesis

i really wanted to make a wordplay out of "isaiah" and "eisegesis" (isagesis) but the pronunciation just didn't feel intuitive, and most people don't know the second word anyway. what has the world come to?


i don't think the artist meant it this way originally, but i need this right now, so i'm taking it.

this post's point is not complicated: my kingdom needs to end, in order to flourish. almost no king rules forever, and i have long believed that the best earthly rulers are those who submit to a higher rule. these are also the rulers who rule longest... as they should.

i suppose this post is really just a post-script to the one previous. that's been happening quite a bit lately (in other necks of the isaian woods). that's what comes of not letting things brew long enough. just another area where i need to learn to live in the middle of the spectrum: between impulsivity (it's a word now; anything i say that isn't a word, becomes a word) and caution.

actually, i guess this post and its parent script (scroll down) are not just about abdication and unfitness to rule. they are also about good things coming to an end. every kingdom-- not just every bad kingdom-- comes to an end.

if i can remember this, and act upon it, perhaps my metaphorical subjects will flourish.

~     ~     ~

and the birds still sing outside
these windows where we sat together
like nothing ever happened here
the white house on the hill black clouds of weather

and the church spire over the river
she still sits there warm in the evening glow
but you don't care about these scenes i treasure
about these west winds-- i know, i know
seems everything around here
stays like stone
seems it's about time darling
we let all this go

mmm and everything must start again anew
'cause everything just goes that way my friend
and every king knows it to be true
that every kingdom must one day come to an end

and the sun, she may be long gone
lost to these memories we found
but she'll be here when it's all done
when our bodies are lain beneath the ground

seems that everything that goes around
comes, comes around here
seems that everything that stays
somehow gets me down again

Sunday, November 18, 2012

see me for who i really am.

i get to decide these things. me. i am the one who decides.

people, God, and chance determine my circumstances and offer me choices. i am the one who chooses.

and this is what i have decided: i have decided to be a grown-up. i have decided to stop whining. i have decided i will continue cussing in my free time / alone time, but now the language will be followed by action. i have decided not to complain about something i can change without also doing something about it, or at least making a reasonable and time-stamped plan to do something about it.

i have decided to take responsibility for my perfectionist, idealist attitude, in such a way as to take control over it. i have decided not to use complications as excuses to delay responses. (it is okay to wait and plan carefully; it is not okay to stall in hopes that things will get better on their own.) i have decided to move toward goals and away from selfish desires. i have decided to throw off the things that hinder me, and press on.

i have decided to funnel my less helpful thoughts and energies out into e-space, where they cannot hurt me or others.

i have decided to discipline myself a little bit. and the thing about that is, i used to think discipline had to be an established routine, but i think maybe i don't simply lack discipline. i think i might actually have specific strongholds of laziness and over-indulgence which require more... stringent methods. i think i might have areas in my life that require...... not gradual grass-roots change, but violent revolution.

i think i need to self-impeach. i think i need to give back the eyes i borrowed, so that i can

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

for all who are thirsty

"I don't think anyone will ever be in love with me. It's not that I'm down on myself or that I'm pessimistic. I see myself as a realist. And I truly, really believe that not one person will ever fall in love with me.. Ever."

before i vent, i need you to know that my first reaction to this was, "me too." it's not my intention to invalidate or attack your feelings. i know how this feels... seriously. and i know how it thinks as well. please believe me. i know what it is to be parched; i know it perhaps better than others, because i was for a short time quenched, and that part of my life is now a sharply contrasted & painfully hollow space in me.

but here's the thing: if the kind of falling in love you're talking about is the kind that transcends mere attraction... if it's the kind that looks at your flaws and somehow sees them as part of your beauty... if it's the kind that considers ever-increasing and totally unhindered closeness with you to be the best earthly experience it could ask for... if it's the kind that desires emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy with you so much that it can't contain itself... if it's the kind that takes joy in being gracious and kind toward you when you eff things up... if it's the kind that can't be dissuaded despite all of your arguments against yourself...

...if that's the kind of falling in love that you believe you'll never receive, then i call bullshit.

someday, if you make wise decisions, you will befriend someone who desires to truly and deeply know you... someone who can see you for who you really are, even better than you can. right now you look at yourself through the murky lens of despair and fear and harsh critique; but he will look at you and see the most intriguing and complex created beauty that he has ever encountered. and he will find no greater happiness than the happiness he experiences with you nearby. he will consider your love worthy of every effort he could make to inspire it, and more. and he'll be willing to spend his whole life proving that to you. more and more every day, as you treat each other with genuine care, he will satisfy you immeasurably.

it's true that there are obstacles, and that there always will be. you will struggle against your own internal demons/dragons; you'll be hit with tragic life circumstances that make you angry and discouraged. he'll make mistakes that hurt you. but none of that makes any of what i'm saying less true. to your future spouse, you are worth his whole world. don't argue with him!

please do not predestine yourself for that which opposes your design. you are designed to receive these things: affection, trust, admiration, loyalty, and fierce desire. if they arrive in the form of someone Godly whose character, personality, and appearance please you, then please don't turn them down. if it is right, then please accept the love offered to you when it arrives.

i will celebrate with you when this happens. (i will also be immature and say "i told you so" but i think you will forgive me.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

this is how i feel about You

Lord, Christ, Spirit

i am undone yet again. You have done this, not only because of Who You are, but also at my very specific request; therefore, i believe in its rightness and am certain of its gradual success.


however: i am uncertain how others will be affected. i know that my failures disappoint others, and that much of the good i could have done is lost; but i am desperate for You to close the gaps where i have burned bridges. i must believe simultaneously that my actions matter, and also that my failures do not have to thwart Your purposes.

i have prayed as well that You would continue to accomplish much good in those for whom i've cared. i will continue to ask for that, because that's all i can do for now.

but i have another request: one that i believe You would enjoy granting. i want You to use me again, as much and even more than in the past. and i want an opportunity to be used to help those same people who are now noticing my [necessary and helpful?] absence. i don't want to be crippled by the events of this dark chapter; i don't want a drop of poison to remain in my cup. i want to share the cup with those whom i love. i want the people who are already around me to receive blessings from You through me.

it isn't about me being popular or uplifted. i would work invisibly and inaudibly if that were just as effective (though i would certainly miss the encouragement that comes from gratitude and recognition). but the truth is, even though my motivations are human and therefore flawed and impure, that at the core of me, my desire is first for Your work in me for Your sake, and for theirs... not for mine.

so, please hire me? my resume rightly describes me as unqualified, perhaps disqualified... but i have heard that You can wipe slates clean, that You are the master renovator, that You take what the world considers worthless and broken, and cause it to radiate Your love in a way that makes hearts tremble with awe and thankfulness. 

i have heard that a word from You brings the proud to their knees... but that it can also give wings to the lowly. i am surely the lowliest. i ask for wings.

i ask for Your help, that i might consistently please You with my actions. i ask for You to inhabit me, to burn fiercely in me, to sing wildly through me. i ask You to implant in me the word, which has the power to save souls. i ask You not only to convict me when i stray, but to speed my journey on the right path. i ask You to teach me something i don't yet know, that i can use to further Your plans.

i don't want to excuse my complacency by calling it a crisis of faith. i don't want to let my doubts hinder me. i don't want my questions to be answered in a quiet room, as i sit and ponder and journal; i want to wrench the answers free from life's grip on my way to Your finish line. i don't want to simply get by anymore. i don't want to coast. i understand i have the wheel, and You won't drive for me; but i am moving my feet aside to make room for Yours, and i want You to floor it and peel out.



i do not yet believe any of these requests will be granted, because i am still blinded by the ragged and bloody veil before me (all that remains of my worldly garments). but i want to. and i need You to tell me that it is possible.

i need to know that You still want me. without that i would surely drown, and willingly. i will have either Your embrace or that of death. i can't live without You.

please still want me. please don't give up on me... please save me by filling me. please rescue me from this weight that threatens to break me. please let me be Yours, forever; please let me return when i have tired of following some other master. please do not turn away. please grant the audience i request, and please call persistently to me when i am in rebellion.

not all of me pursues You, but the part that does is weeping and mourning because You have humbled me. please invest in me again, even more than before. please cause the implanted word to grow to full strength and beauty in me.

please let that tree bear fruit, that i and others may be nourished by it.

i ask these things with my face in the dirt, and though i constantly doubt, i still choose to place my trust in You.

generous Father, please grant me wisdom that changes my course and propels me forward.
Son of God, please teach me your way of life.
Spirit, please indwell me and direct my thoughts and shape my heart.

thank You for hearing my cries

amen

Friday, November 02, 2012

note to shelf

so it turns out that the reason i couldn't understand why anyone would drink alcoholic beverages for the alcohol, was that i only drank when i was already in a good mood.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

mysteries

i just can't. i'm giving up.

after these last few counseling sessions, i will no longer attempt to understand you, no longer seek any closeness with you; no longer empathize, relate to, or depend on you. this is because the most critical points of conflict between us are not situational. they have to do with character and perspective.

i believe people of two opposite perspectives can learn from each other and cooperate. it isn't that we have differing perspectives-- it's that no matter what i try, i cannot understand yours. i've enlisted your aid, as well as that of many others, and i simply cannot. of course when someone says "i can't" what they really mean is that they aren't willing to keep trying forever. clinging to hope is romanticized in our culture. it is perhaps noble at some level, but it is not always helpful.

in our case i find it destructive.

as if a permanent lack of understanding between two people isn't enough to ruin them, you take it a step further: you erroneously believe that you can and do understand me, far better than even i do!

that baffles me even further, and is perhaps the greatest mystery i've encountered. not the kind of mystery that's beyond the application of the human mind, like God's eternality... it's the kind that both invites and mocks that application. it's like the monkey that's tasked (but not trained) to produce Genesis 1:1 by pounding randomly on a typewriter. could it happen? yes. will it happen? i think not, but i was willing to find out. i was willing to be trained to do it; i was willing to work at it until my fingers bled.

i am no longer willing. even the closing remarks between us will likely prove difficult beyond my considerable capacity for figuring stuff out.

this is not the last letter i will write to you. i have much processing to do, and much to say that has little to do with counseling or arguments or reasoning.

~     ~     ~

the greatest barrier to us having a healthy relationship is your lack of grace. but the greatest barrier to the resolution (or unraveling) of our unhealth was, and always will be, your self-deception: that you understood me.

if i could give you nothing else as we part, i would give you an attitude of grace. if not that, then an understanding of me. grace is more important, and i cannot do without it, both spiritually and human-relationally.... but nothing satisfies me more than someone who truly understands me.

and nothing leaves me emptier than the lack thereof.

as something of a mystery myself, i would have loved to be solved by you, daily, continuously. things would have been very different.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

judgment day

i cannot accept this much grace.

i am not exaggerating or simply venting; i am not even confessing. even through all my emotional and visceral suffering, even after multiple trials, i have not been convinced that justice has been done, nor does mercy speak any of my languages when it approaches me for conversation. people call God's grace incomprehensible as if that's a good thing; they smile and tear up a little.

i am not crying about grace.

i am trembling under condemnation, and wondering if it is right for me to be forgiven, to seek redemption. i would mostly rather be tried and sentenced. it will be an heroic act of intervention on Holy Spirit's part if i do not choose to live forever under the teeming, roiling shadows of my past, which reach across the years through my present and brush against my expectations of the future. it will take a grip as strong as His to pry me loose from the welcoming arms of the wages of sin.

wake me up on judgment day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

safe

i can feel my subconscious building walls around the things in my life that i can't handle alone.

that's probably part of our design, but i'm not certain it's the right thing. sometimes if it feels better, that's bad; sometimes pain is for our good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

needs

perhaps what i need most right now, of the things that are available to me, is more mentorship from the old & wise. perhaps enough of that could come close enough to meeting my needs to vent, to be understood, to be encouraged, to be critiqued, to be cared for.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

nothing more than

i have been re-thinking recently about how my emotions fuel my singing; not only that, but i'm actually much more creative and confident when i am expressing feelings of any kind through music (rather than trying to construct a musically acceptable melody or harmony with my left-brain).

one of the reasons i often stay up later than i should, is because as it gets later, my right-brain begins to dominate (whereas left usually does during the day) and i begin to feel both more overall aswellas more feelings individually. so then i feel the need to express those feelings. but i'm so tired, and i have to be quiet, so i usually end up trying but failing for an hour or so. then i go to bed.

i must change this, if i can.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

in my ideal life

this is the hour at which i would return home to the comfortably-cool side of my otherwise-warm bed, to lean gently against the back of someone i trust more than anyone else, and who trusts me in return. and i would fall asleep as quickly or as slowly as i wanted, because being loved like that is either the most peaceful or the most exciting thing one can experience, depending on how you choose to look at it at the time.

and this is the hour at which, rather than speaking, i would simply make a noncommittal noise of contentment, which would be returned-- along with a touch on my arm that would say "welcome home" more than any words or even songs could.

at this hour i would, without effort, forget how crappy work was this week, forget what that idiot posted on Facebook, forget the wrong notes i played, forget that my desk has been a mess for weeks, forget that i don't have any free time tomorrow (Saturday!), forget about my stubbed toe, forget about how much money i shouldn't've spent today, forget about everything except what being in love mutually & freely, feels like.

maybe night-time actually sucks you-know-what.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

transposte: a different indulgence

this is an excerpt. i hope to post the source in its entirety someday. it's from August 31st, precisely 9:47 p.m. i transposte it now because i feel and think a little differently, and i want to document my journeys. this journey is from despair to decisiveness, and it will ever be one of the most important of my life.



tonight was the most painful. i guess it's because it was the first time i'd seen Val in person since she left. i got through the evening okay, but when i got home, i just sat for awhile, trying to work up the motivation to work on the to-dos.

but i just bawled instead. by the way i'm almost sorry that i'm posting this here, but i don't want to talk to anyone else about it, and i don't want to blog it publicly. so i need privacy and someone who will empathize. that makes this blog the magic.

anyway i cried because of the pain she caused me (in the past and recently and tonight when we met at church). but i also cried because of the pain i caused her. i really hated myself.

i am starting to feel the things that i guess people who divorce would feel. i feel filthy, more sinful than i have ever felt. i feel like this disqualifies me from having healthy intimate relationships anymore; or even if it doesn't, people will still think it does, which is kinda worse. i feel like i failed in the part of life that mattered the most. i feel like i failed not just Val but God, and my family, and my friends. i even feel like i'm betraying myself.

i feel like i will never be free from this unbearable pain. i feel like i cannot be comforted. i feel like i cannot be redeemed. i feel like i am not worthy of anything good. i feel like i cannot make good decisions, which is the most disorienting feeling i've ever felt. i feel like i'm doing everything wrong and all of Valerie's critiques and insults and attacks are valid.

i feel like i'm headed for even greater disaster somehow, like this is just me getting caught in the whirlpool's outer rim, and drowning is inevitable. i feel like guilt and shame will follow me all the days of my life.

worst of all, i am having trouble thinking through any of this. it's overwhelming my usually sufficient barriers and places of strength.

i have begged friends for prayer and they have immediately complied. i have now blogged, and even though there is much i want to vomit out (and need to), i don't think i can do that here and now. thank goodness, right?

my feelings have never before overrun me to this degree, for this long. i feel ransacked, enslaved, abused... and i cannot fight it. at least, i don't know how.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

ways that i've been coping


  • Wailin' Jennys
  • grinding my teeth, usually without noticing
  • overtime
  • laughing in amazement at how incredibly bad things are
  • cussing (only in private)
  • singing loudly (more often)
  • spending more money
  • double-time
  • going through old photos
  • experimenting with my caffeine threshold
  • private blogging (unheard of!!)
  • letting my family take care of me
  • more photography
  • acting before considering 
  • giving more to people in my care
  • watching Dollhouse with my sister Leah
  • writing song lyrics
  • prayer
  • asking for help (!)
  • apologizing when i don't really need to
  • making new friends, on purpose, for my sake (what?!?!)
  • taking days off with little notice
  • more conversations with mentors
  • the Honey Trees
  • speaking before thinking (!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • making unrealistic plans
  • less sleeping at night
  • checking my social networks eight times as much as i used to
  • exercise
  • less rest during the day
  • rekindling old friendships
  • being silent, just in case
  • taking care of my family
  • crying most days, if i'm lucky
  • reading old e-mails
  • really pushing my vocal range
  • arranging for more long drives
  • more moon-bathing
  • avoiding Valerie except when we can have a positive interaction
  • more blogging in general
  • more daydreaming
  • less optimism
  • popping up the collar on my work uniform

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

'tis best to both give AND receive


advice to present & future self (selves? whatever...) about relationships of varying kinds:
  • successfully pursuing health together in a relationship in general does not afford two people the option of choosing any type of healthy relationship they might desire
  • being picky about who my close friends are is not only justified, but necessary and beneficial, just as forsaking certain traditional social customs is not only justified, but necessary and beneficial
  • quality DTR is the closest thing there is to a relational cure-all, and if executed well, has widespread ramifications for many areas of life, both relational and personal/individual
  • sometimes what i want can be both selfish AND good; this is called 'needs,' and i have a hard time accepting that such things exist; but i must accept them and know them in me, if i am to be responsible about my health and the health of my relationships
  • to be healthy, i need friends in all three of these categories: 1) friends to whom i give but from whom i do not receive, 2) friends from whom i receive but to whom i do not give, and 3) friends from whom i receive and to whom i give. apparently the latter category is the toughest to fill, and i must be extra diligent to both find and nurture those friendships
  • there is no longer any advice i can receive about marriage that is simultaneously simple and helpful, so i should no longer seek nor accept simple answers to my questions about it
  • when relating to many others, i should be simple but personal; when relating to a few or to one other, i should be precise but not comprehensive; when introspecting or studying alone, i should overturn each & every rock twice and tell it not to leave town. and take detailed notes. and question whether each rock is really a rock, just in case i might be deceived or mistaken about its nature
  • i should never draw confident conclusions about what someone thinks or feels of me based solely, or even primarily, on who i am. who they are can be equally or more important to consider
  • i should go to bed now, even though that has little to do (directly) with relationships


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

encoureegement


"Brother,
Trust me when I say that how you are feeling now will not last nearly as long as it seems… Yes, it’s difficult, it will last a while, but it also will pass… Soon each day will get a little better. You will start to have small victories that warm every part of your soul… And eventually, your life will be better than you ever thought it ever could have been. I’m not saying there will not be trials, there always will be. But, in your heart, you will know that where you are is exactly where you belong. I don’t think you’ve had that feeling in a few years… I could be wrong…. Anyway, through this difficult season, your true friends will not be nearly as critical of you as you are of yourself. I know you know that, but it never hurts to hear it anyway… Take care, Isaiah. Hang in there…"

- a person up to whom i look

Monday, August 27, 2012

besieged

perhaps i am indeed beset by famine, disease in livestock, economic challenges, deadly pandemic, war, change in the political system, and disagreement in the church. in fact i am certain that i am at the very least beset internally by anarchy.

but it is also true that i am surrounded on all [out]sides by wisdom, love, and grace. none of you will ever know how deeply that moves me... unless i write a sweet song about it and sing it to you someday.

once again i'm overwhelmed by a dozen feelings. but at least this time i can sleep on them.

thank You God for Your provision for me in the persons who have uplifted me by their words and actions.

amen

Friday, August 24, 2012

truth time: vinage

now that my LoP has subsided and i am in my own space, and ostensibly safer behind the veil of the internets, i will speak freely, intending not only to journal as i always have, but to give you what you deserve.

you've impacted me (in an almost literal sense) more and more since day one, and now i think you've passed some crucial point, and i can no longer attempt to quantify that impact without laughing at the impracticality and inevitable failure of such an effort. i realize tonight that, like Jerad & Brandon & Andrew & Caleb, you will continue to impact me even when our life-paths diverge for good. you've become a permanent force, both when you are acting 'pon my life and when you are not.

i find this to be the epitome of value & necessity for me, in light of tonight's conversations on the dock, and more. i find this to be vital in the way that water and air are vital.

in other words: i will ne'er e'er be free of your good influence on me, regardless of whatever may or may not pass.

and so it is with a critically heavy heart that i thank God very particularly for His love for me via you (not limited to your purposeful actions & words). i see so clearly the water from Him, the source, poured into your earthen vessel, overflowing into the rough dry soil of my world in a way that causes green things to grow that would have otherwise not pushed through.

in this way (and others) i find you similar to music itself. this is perhaps a lesser compliment, but should not be taken lightly.

be encouraged, and know that whatever you may dislike or even loathe about yourself, you are, to me, tangibly God's beloved & gifted & purposed daughter... and while i have long believed that God is involved in my life, that belief is enfleshed by who you have been, and will ever be, to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

things that help me rest well


  • a clean and open space of my own
  • very purposefully choosing silence, natural white noise, or the perfect music
  • exercise earlier in the day (i.e. hours before)
  • completely finishing a task/chore or two
  • warmth (in the winter), or coolth (in the summer)
  • plenty to drink
  • very purposefully choosing natural light, low light, or no light
  • being clean myself (shower or other ablution)
  • kind words from close friends

darkness

this morning i am hostile toward every idea i have about everything. i need to talk to someone but i don't want to talk to anyone. i want to do what an abused muscle does: seize and withdraw from everything. i want to forget that other people even exist, and just punch a wall until i'm too weak. i don't want music, food, or drink, or consciousness. i don't want peace, resolution, joy, or encouragement. i don't want to be responsible, or guided, or certain.

i want to be so isolated from everything and everyone that the only thing of which i'm aware is darkness.

i feel like, rather than being compromised or even destroyed, i'm being beaten to death.

i do not know what i will do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

why is a raven like a writing desk?

my mind is falling apart at the seams, and overflowing with too much junk. even writing complete sentences feels like pulling out my own teeth, because my life is chaos, both internally and externally. i hate it. it's jarring me. it's like trying to use a jackhammer, using only one's mouth.

 pangs of emotions hit me at seemingly random times, and each pang could be anything.

 i am still compromised. i am no longer in hiding, but perhaps i showed too soon. i do not see my shadow yet.

Friday, August 17, 2012

transposte: things will be different

posted on Facebook by Isaiah James Micu on Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 8:16pm


i closed up shop for awhile, but i am returned, now with 20% more emo & seriousness. (some of you thought it impossible... admit it.) consequently, my posts will be 45% longer. please don't attempt the math.

i'm having trouble organizing all the things i want to say. they all relate to each other, but not all of them depend on the others in order to make sense. maybe bullets will help. 

  • i will probably soon be not married
this is not because of conflicts, but because of fundamental differences which i do not expect to change. i await only God in this matter, and no human being, because the things that need changing seem subject only to His hand (because the choices to be made by humans have already been made; i am a fervent and even Arminian believer in free will, peeps. no misunderstandings allowed).

each one must follow one's conscience as it follows one's beliefs about life, and Valerie & i are currently following what seem to be conflicting leads. it isn't just our leads that conflict; each of us respectively is conflicted about what is right, what is best, et cetera.

along with all of its many serious complications and concurrent struggles, this has been by far the most difficult, challenging, and dangerous situation i've ever experienced. i'd appreciate extra grace (from Christians and others). not only that, i'm in need of it.

(by grace i mean, when i am an a-hole to you, don't crucify me. please & thank-you.)

  • i am most certainly compromised at the mental & emotional levels
when i say that my current life circumstances are overwhelming, i don't mean i feel overwhelmed (although it's true that i do). what i mean is, i have actually been overwhelmed. i'm being raided. ransacked. subverted. divided. i'm in anarchy. rebellious elements within my self-politic are using my inner life as a RISK board, and i am unsure who is winning from one moment to the next.

outside of simple tasks & routines like brewing tea & doing my job at the 9-5, you must trust me less than you did before. this is necessary. trust me.

it is debatable whether i have, overall, been a good friend in the past. in this chapter, i am not. i may seem like one from time to time, but i am not. it would be irresponsible of me not to tell you that.

i know that i am compromised because my mind makes plans without checking in at the ethics & responsibility counter first. i am so far mostly disallowing that folly to become... externalized. with some much appreciated help. but that doesn't change the fact that i am in danger of being not myself.

  • i'm extremely lonely, but i don't want to hang out with [most] people
this is tough for me because i know your quality. i know there are generous and loving people around me who are willing to give their time and energy. it seems wrong for me to reject such gifts when i seem to be in need of them.

i wish i could explain it-- to me first, and then to you. but i cannot. well that's not entirely true... i could explain my conscious reasons. i'm not sure it would help anything, though.

you know when you're bored, even though there's plenty to do? when you want work but you avoid your to-do list, when you wanna have fun but you're too cranky, when you want to be with people but only certain people and only if they're in a certain mood and only if the stars are aligned?

no? oh. well, i tried.

seriously, i haven't ever been this excruciatingly lonely. coming back to Facebook helped a little, which is kind of scary, but... okay, whatevs. i think i need to process and understand my loneliness in light of my most significant circumstances at this time. this leaves me in a very awkward and embarrassing place, which was somewhat addressed in the previous bullet point. i hope that you can understand that without worrying about me, or feeling weird around me. it's unlikely, but that's what hope (non-theologically) is for, i think: unlikely but desired outcomes.

anyway. i won't hold it against you if you say to me in this chapter, "isaiah... i don't like who you are right now. we're friends and all but we're not that close, and this is kinda awkward. txt me when RISK is over."

or maybe "isaiah that's silly; i'm here for you 24/7, whenever you need a cup of flour or some new music or a photography assistant or whatevs. just please keep your emotionally overcharged philosophy and self-pity to yourself, kk? good, now that's settled, we can play Starcraft."

or even "isaiah, get over yourself and act normal. drama queen."

my personal fav: "isaiah, i can appreciate that you're romantically bankrupt and starved for deep emotional connection and all... but, you do realize i'm a guy, right?"

jk jk. no one has said those things to me yet. and, a few of the most meaningful and solid emotional connections i've made have been with guys. however, i am not vulnerable to guys right now, which is why that last hypothetical quote is a joke. i have some exceptional male friends who are there for me even without my asking. i'm not worried about that. i'm worried about other things. this is getting to be quite the confessional. moving on!

  • i need to serve
if you want to do something for me that is both healthy and desired, give me something to do for you. for you personally. not for your grandma or your dog. you.it would be unhealthy for me to, say, take on a second job, or a new roommate, or some commitment of that magnitude. but it is nourishing, peace-inducing, stress-relieving to do a single thing for a single (er... individual) person, if it's something that they truly value. keep it in mind.

  • if you want to help in some other way... read this.
http://moon-bathing.blogspot.com

the whole thing? uh... daunting. i recommend against that. but yesterday's post? sure. blogging is my way of 1) knowing myself, and 2) getting close to people without getting close to them. i feel a desperate need for both of those things right now. 

stay tuned for more depressing things but also possibly some victories here and there. thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a completely unique experience

in my life i mean. not in the world.

i have discovered a new type of loneliness. it's not like other kinds; it isn't the kind that makes one angry or apathetic. it isn't the kind that makes guys try too hard. it isn't the kind that makes one hurt oneself. it isn't even the kind that makes one cry.

it's the kind where i realize, that if someone made any kind of purposeful skin-to-skin contact with me for the purpose of establishing a positive emotional connection of any kind, then i would cry.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

journeys: for my friends who encourage me

don't give up. don't ignore your emotions, or minimize them, or pretend things aren't so bad... cause probly, things really are bad.

but don't despair, and if you take a break from life, or from gravity, make sure you are watching and waiting for your time to return. and please bring back something beautiful or useful or true, even if it's dark or frightening or shaming or dangerously personal.

and please don't let your journeys change you too much, or in the wrong ways. they are supposed to change you; you can't be the same forever and also remain alive. but don't be warped; just grow.

if you end up doing things you deeply regret-- good. regret, if we let it, helps us be who we want to be later. who we are designed to be. memories both good and bad are good, if we make them so.

and when you feel alone, that's okay too, because sometimes you kind of are, and maybe that's not wrong: to be alone sometimes. inside and out. just don't stay there too long, and don't keep every sad place a secret. invite someone in once in awhile. don't be afraid.

because the things you carry back and forth from here to those lonely secret places are sometimes heavy enough to harm you if you don't have help. sometimes not, but if they are, then even one more hand can be enough to keep you safe.

and most importantly: don't trust all the things you read on the internet. explore them in your imagination and test them out for yourself before you make them yours.

(but if you do make them yours, please comment, so the author, who needed those things you read more than you did, can know that a difference was made.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Atlas / Tracey

on Wednesday, the 1st of August, i went on a hawt date... with myself.

i made the 20-minute drive to Riverpark. steak, mashed po-ta-toes, and some other veggie. those were delectable, but the tear-jerker (tears of joy) was the Kostritzer Schwarzbier. i mean, it felt really good to say, "table for one, please" ...but the feel-good of that beer... um. wow.

fortunately i was the only one with me, and my table was somewhat removed from others around me, because... well, the truth is that i made some sex noises. there just isn't any other accurate term for the things i 'say' when i enjoy something that much. it wasn't on purpose... that beer is just so good. and it was only my third time having my way with it. (i'm still in the honeymoon phase, i think.)

anyway: then i went shopping for dark chocolate (90%-cocoa) at World Market.

then i saw the new Spiderman movie, which occasionally entertained me enough to make me forget the bullets in me (despite the protagonist's sad acting skills).

then i sang all the way home.

since then i've been re-miniscing and, i think serving people who need serving is a pretty good way for me to stave off the !@#$^(*$!#&*$)$!%)&* internally. not only that, it's the right thing to do. so i've been anchored by that, or maybe it's my mainstay, or a tradewind or somesuch. whatever. the point is i'm stable again, instead of careening off of every reef and iceberg and unsuspecting whale.

and it gets me thinking that maybe i'm Atlas after all, because i'm in this weird place socially where i am violently opposed to interacting with peers, but i find serving very comfy. but, i also crave time with my trusted mentors and the pillars of my faith, the ones who reflect my confidence back to me by showing me my need for the pursuit of humility; but back to the other hand (or the original hand): i go to youth group events where i can meet needs, or i hang out with young siblings who of course need familial social nourishment.

but i try not to even think about the people in the gray zone, between those two extremes.

perhaps Atlas by itself is not accurate. he doesn't get help. i do. but i'm choosey about who the helpers are (and rightfully so).

so i'm a coin, with Atlas' profile on one side, and Tracey's on the other.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

new old wallpaper


i must re-turn.

i like to re-solve things

looking back over my journaling, i re-alize that noitcelf-er is vital to my health. re-ading these things i've said somehow re-vitalizes and focuses me in a way that few things do. and perhaps this is a particularly good chapter for re-flection, but even so, my conclusion stands.

i used to wish i could re-ceive letters from my future self, letters that would tell me what to do and how to do it right the first time. i wanted to benefit from wisdom i hadn't gained yet. but perhaps it would be just as effective to re-ceive letters from my past self, to benefit from wisdom i have gained at some point but since forgotten. or maybe the re-solving of things can be used to gain new wisdom. actually, it's not an "if," it's a "when," because i see it happening. i re-flect on my re-flections and re-member who i was, and then re-gain the old re-solve i had.

this chapter is about re-re-flection and re-re-solution. i shouldn't promise to make the most of it, but i will certainly aim for a re-ally high yield. i should probably make use of re-minders from now on.

i believe it's time to hire my mom's adopted sister's husband to re-novate this blog design.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

bon, ee, (wait for it...)

...very.

http://tinyurl.com/6x4hxc
http://tinyurl.com/cvtf8xz

i've seen and heard this song referenced a dozen times before today, and never paid it much attention. the style seemed very Jack Johnson to me, which in isaiah-speak means "should've been given the benefit of more than four chords" and "very casual mood that is hard for me to relate to / indwell." in other words the feel of the song just wasn't my type (though it was accomplished well).

well, i finally looked up the lyrics and thought to myself... "wow. i have no idea what that means."

so then i looked up the meaning, and thought to myself... "holy #$@!!"

and lastly, i decided to record this "holy #$@!!" moment on my blog via links and the lyrics and an embedding.



Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in this moment this order's tall

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different "kind"
I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines

Come on skinny love what happened here
Suckle on the hope in light brassieres
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Sullen load is full; so slow on the split

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And now all your love is wasted?
And then who the hell was I?
And now I'm breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines

Who will love you?
Who will fight?
Who will fall far behind?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

a day of rebirth

i completely forgot who i was.

to be fair, i've been dealing with a lot lately, and not just in total quantity. this many distinct problems all at once is quite overwhelming, and apparently i did not do the situation justice by calling it that. i said "i've never been so overwhelmed," when what i really meant was "i feel so overwhelmed."

well, it turns out i actually was overwhelmed, to the point of not only being compromised, but to the point where i didn't realize how i had been compromised. and i reflect now on my subconscious choices and say, "first of all, those should have been consciously made. secondly, they should have been made in the opposite direction: toward others, for their benefit... not to indulge myself."

it stuns me that i was so unaware of my childishness. i'm so embarrassed, i won't even ask forgiveness from the people who are designed to forgive me! but that's probably also because i've been asking them for it so often lately. they must be getting tired of it.

the bottom line is that i must return to me; and furthermore, i must be better at it than before, in order to deal with these current situations adequately. i must be cleverer, self-aware-er, do it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes me stronger. i must not let my feelings drug me, must not let my surging motivations direct me. i must call them out and replace their suggestions with this decision: to love people.

i must stop being fifteenteen years old.

Father please help me mend whatever can still be mended. if it's Your will, please don't let my threatened friendships die; but if it is, then please help me get through that without doing anything selfish. please bless those i've wronged. please help reconcile and renew and restore.

amen

Monday, August 06, 2012

a long way home

finished lyrics for an unfinished song
for Andrew Peterson and Brad Hamm

vs 1
it's a long way home
'cause you're far away from here
and as i stare into this life, with all i have inside
i pour out all my sin, terror, and great darkness
i seek only to trust and yield
in these weary moments, not merely the lifetime
i so wisely chose
i so wisely chose

chorus
and now i'm shaken from thought and this great longing
that's fruitless from my work
and it seems so useless, with nothing left to prove
and so much left to choose while in the midst of battle for my soul
and for those who forfeit theirs
and for those who forfeit theirs

vs 2
we chose this path
a shortcut to the end
but which is better in the eyes of God:
to cleanly break, or slowly mend?
i have heard Him sing through you
words to make the cripples dance
to give the hopeless a chance
in these desperate hours, you're my only life-line
i so wisely chose
i so wisely chose

chorus
and now i'm shaken from thought and this great longing
that's fruitless from my work
and it seems so useless, with nothing left to prove
and so much left to choose while in the midst of battle for my soul
and for those who forfeit theirs
and for those who forfeit theirs
and for those who forfeit theirs

i have heard Him sing through you

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

-i- contact

i understand that this is not a unique feature, nor even a rare one... but many do not consider it consciously. being aware of one's traits seems to provide opportunities to develop them, hide them, or stamp them out. this is one trait that i have chosen to develop, and i think it important to know this about me (if one desires closeness of any kind with me).

in many circumstances, i am extremely sensitive to eye contact. the term "windows to the soul" once seemed overly sentimental, or perhaps foolishly romantic, but i have changed my view. it just might sound exactly as dramatic as it should, because for me, eye contact can be more intimate than a long hug, more intimate (sometimes) than even a kiss.

not the same kind of intimacy, of course, but no less intimate for that. if i have any emotions toward a person, i subconsciously expect those feelings to be made known when i look that person in the eye. is that irrational? perhaps not.

i tell you this because i want you to treat me differently than you would if you didn't know about it. i want people who look me in the eye to realize, "oh... this is no small thing. this is like touching isaiah physically. this is like forcing him to be honest and open with me."

it is not always this way. here are some of the circumstances that would invoke my "-i- Contact Sensitivity" aspect:

  • if you are attractive
    foolishly, but in keeping with my inescapable humanity, i am drawn to look at attractive people. (that's sort of what attractive means.) when i look at the eyes of someone i find attractive, i feel like i'm indulging myself without their permission. (which i sort of am.) since for me it's a way of being close (sometimes), i feel like i'm getting close to that person by making eye contact.

    even an attractive personality by itself might be enough to make me feel this way; that is, you might not be physically attractive, but that doesn't automatically disqualify you.

    the other reason i try not to meet the eyes of attractive people is because i worry they will sense that i'm enjoying it immensely, which would be extremely awkward for me (and likely for them as well).
  • if i feel something toward you
    negative feelings work here, not just the obvious candidates. anger or jealousy or disgust would qualify. in those cases, i might be trying not to hurt you with my feelings... or maybe i wish to keep them secret because i am ashamed that i feel that way toward you.
  • if i believe you are hostile
    i will either meet your gaze as a challenge, or avert my gaze as a way of protecting myself.
  • if you know my dark side
    if i have confessed a sin to you, or shared any shameful secret, or (this one especially) if i am aware that i have hurt you in some way, i will look at your eyes differently than i would have otherwise. i might not avert my gaze; in fact, i might meet it more confidently, especially if you have responded to my sinfulness with acceptance/love.

    knowing what a horrifyingly evil person i can be (and have been) is a huge doorway to intimacy with me (of any kind; not just romantic), which sometimes seems to me to be a contradiction, but other times makes perfect sense.
  • if i am, at that moment, caring deeply for you
    if you share with me some difficulty in life that's causing you pain or frustration, and i set out to be helpful to you in that situation, i am more likely to make eye contact. i sometimes use it as a way to lend strength or depth to my words... or to communicate more tangibly than words themselves can.
  • if you are, at that moment, caring deeply for me
    sometimes i need this. don't be so shocked. haha but seriously: similarly to how you need a hug sometimes, i need eye contact sometimes.
  • if i am, at that moment, making an overt attempt to get to know you better
    i find that questions are an excellent way to get to know someone, but i don't make eye contact in those situations just to help me listen to your answer: i use that contact to find meaning behind your words. i don't mean that i read into what you say, just that i might be able to detect things that words don't express. this is sort of the inverse of the "caring deeply for you" one. i want to hear more than what you are saying.

    for example, if you say you're sad... okay. i hear you. but if i can feel how sad you are by making eye contact... that's much better. or, maybe you're describing a situation and haven't yet said how you feel about it. i will probably ask you how you feel about it... but i'll watch your eyes to try to determine how open you're being. to determine how vulnerable you are at that time.

i'm sure there are more, but i haven't the time right now to list them. perhaps in a future post.

if you care about me at all, please be careful with our eye contact. don't be paranoid or worried; just be aware. that's enough for me for now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

404'd

i tried to make my blog cool and updatey, then realized i'd have to dive into the code, then realized how much different it is now, then realized how much time i'm gonna need to re-code, then realized i don't have that much time. so this is me for awhile, and it's quite crapezoidal, but i suppose we will have to deal. pray for my blog template.

away but never gone

some people, when they're in pain, they bottle it up for awhile and then explode and hurt people. other people, they just take it out on their surroundings right then. still others will try to compensate by forcing happiness or excitement.

when i'm in pain, often i will either go to full-scale war (with varying degrees of strategy involved) or else retreat entirely.

the weird thing about my retreats is that they always involve an element of reaching out to people from afar. just now, for example, i wrote to a close friend / brother and told him, "i'm withdrawing from everyone right now." but right after sending that e-mail, i went to google.com/reader and cleaned out all my old blog/xanga/livejournal/etc subscriptions, but only after reading through many of the more personally meaningful, especially ones on which i had commented, or ones which mentioned me, or ones that described important stories in the lives of the people with whom i used to be close.

why?

and why do i reach out even now to the one-and-a-half readers of this blog, baring my heart (well, a little) while still hiding in my half-empty apartment, with the lights down low and no music except the A-hum of the AC unit?

i suppose i am looking for an emotional connection that doesn't require social energy. perhaps that's why i'm about to go listen to the Wailin Jennys and smoke a bowl of Penzance, or perhaps Frog Morton.

i have never been more desperate to find a fast-forward-life button. and it crawls instead, to taunt me.

i await better things.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

this kind can only come out by prayer and fasting

against my nature, but in keeping with wise advice from my betters, i have decided... to not decide yet.

i have blind spots when it comes to problem-solving. they astound me when i discover them (if i do), and yet they make sense. i focus so carefully on the problem itself that i forget its context. for example: i had [subconsciously] thought myself pressured and even required to make this decision on the 31st.

well, that's just silly. why should i?

i commit right now, in the presence of these one-and-a-half readers, to wait. i will fast from decision-making itself, and beg God on my face to reveal something better than what i'd invent on my own.

if He reveals no such thing, i will continue with my own plan, confident that if He'd wanted to change my course, He'd have taken advantage of me while i was still kneeling and practicing the spiritual gift of petition.

thank you members of the body for being used of God to aid me in my most dire time of need.

thank you Holy Spirit for being active, even if stealthy.

i will pray and fast, and this answer will come out, and though there will be consequences no matter what course my life takes, i will bear them joyfully because of God, and because of the faith i've chosen which He and others have nourished and will continue to nourish.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

in his heart a man plans his course

"crossroads" is a pitifully inadequate word. perhaps words themselves are inadequate.

i have decided to take piano lessons. my musical skills are not sufficient for the tasks at hand, specifically for the important task of self-expression. there is too much to contain, and i cannot abide that.

i have also decided to agonize no longer over the possibility of making a moral mistake. after speaking with my pastor, and being prayed over, i know that i may still undergo intense pain and doubt... but i will not torture myself by second-guessing before i've even chosen the course.

God grant me the courage i need to act in accordance with everything He has given to me. i am His, and i ask that He save me... but i will not wait to be spoon-fed the answers to life's questions, nor wait for God to lift my sword against that which opposes me.

i hope that my actions will carry the same confidence my words here seem to.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

fuck.

every once in awhile i blog just to mark an important spot on my path. i don't have a revelation, a question, a deep angst to express, a doctrine to propagate, or a challenge to issue to the world spirit. just a marker.

this marker will distinguish itself from other markers (and represent where i'm at in life right now) by being the first public post in which i blatantly use profane language. i will not apologize for it because it's stupid to apologize for something while doing it.

may the future me who comes back to visit this marker say to himself aloud, "wow. that's exactly right. couldn't've said it better."