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Saturday, May 25, 2013

intro to itopia

"how was your weekend trip?"

paradise.

sunshine full moon cool breeze through the palm trees (i love that susurrus) and wow... i don't remember ever experiencing the jacarandas in full bloom, though socal was my other home for three years. the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, and the pleasant company of many friends, and so many great shots to take that i've probably missed 90% of them, despite having my camera[s] ready even while driving.

no matter what career i end up in, i doubt i'll ever enjoy my work life as much as my personal life... but i would gladly work two jobs for awhile if it meant i could taste this kind of freedom more often. with my critical self in the backseat, i find myself strongly considering it.

that sense of kairos has intoxicated me again. i know my limits; i shouldn't be driving like this. so i'm blogging instead. and it will take considerable effort to keep the purple prose roses well pruned. so be it; i'm caffeinated and Overtonated and ready for what my river47 friends would call the 10:30 hour, during which time i am excessively self-connected and somehow enjoying it rather than longing for sleep.

tonight's companions are klipsch, an unsweetened triple-shot, emancipator ("soon it will be cold enough")... and Chip, whose subtle presence this weekend has anchored me in the kind of withness that defies distance (something of which i am in great need lately). the location is downtown Buena Park, and i wish my friend[s] could have stayed with me. i wish i could have stayed another night. or week. or year.

but i cannot. and blogging helps me move on. so here i am. please forgive the uncentered tildes; i will have to fix them later, since blogger recently saw fit to disallow inline HTML tags inside the iOS app.

~     ~     ~

i understand that my altered mentamotional state is causing me to speak and act differently. i both approve and disapprove. i don't get to be this me this often, so despite the dangers, i will embrace it (to a degree).

i crave everything i experienced this weekend. all of it should happen every weekend, at greater magnitude. granted that some things ached... but this is inevitable in a life filled with both joys and other free-willed agents. i have not yet learned how to cope with this 100% effectively, but at least i'm not blogging privately anymore. or writing songs that cannot ever be finished. or cussing every hour.

crave. it isn't an exaggeration. i am so driven to remain here, to return here, to build a home here (metaphorically), that i have to be constantly vigilant against myself lest i reveal more of myself than is appropriate. (don't quote that out of context, please.) i am so satisfied by it that i am shivering in spite of the perfect weather (and my well-chosen attire). shivering with satisfaction. i mean that literally.

i can feel some of the next few posts (or themes, at the very least) forming on the horizon, like promises of waves, as i paddle out past the breakers. they have to do (as i have mentioned here before, i think) with needs, of which i am learning much lately. in fact i'll be needing a new word to describe something that i could survive without, but would never choose to forego. i'm learning what drives me, i guess. more importantly, i'm learning (in a visceral, right-brained way, rather than intellectually) that it might be a good idea to give these drives some freedom... that a life of rigorous self-control is only part of a life. there must be more.

that something more will worm its way into my writings even if i do not consciously choose to express it here. in the same way that i automatically reach for my camera (even when i don't have it) when certain people are around, so am i automatically moving to fulfill some deep motivations that are perhaps well-designed. i cannot in good conscience label them only as dangerous any longer.



in light of these recent self-developments, i'll soon be introducing a new guest blogger. his views are different than mine, and i have long opposed them. but now i need them. life as it is forming in this chapter will not form correctly without his help.

his name is james, and he will be speaking on cravings, and how they should shape me. please give him the same attention you would give me, even if he blasphemes against what i may have said in the past (or may be saying even now).

#farewell2paradise #theunknown #bringit

Saturday, May 18, 2013

kairotica



'into the ocean' just started playing. i might cry. it was the first song of theirs that i listened to, so of course it's nearly synonymous with you in my mind. the night can't get any closer to perfection unless you walk in and sit across from me. ...or if the moon suddenly reveals itself completely, exposing memory, making the most of boundary. either would be good. i'll whimsically wish for both.

i parked far away; partly because it's a Saturday night, but also for exercise. it felt good to walk, to enjoy the night air, to practice distancing myself from the crowds while at the same time acclimatizing to them. i felt/feel very much myself tonight, exactly as i had planned and hoped. i'm wearing my nicest, me-est outfit (cuffs flared midway up the forearm and everything!) and commemorating something important to me in a way that not many would (i think so, anyway). i'm expressing myself, and because of the occasion, i find it very satisfyingly kairotic.

it's a night to uphold traditions & to break commitments & to make new ones. so, i'm eating a medium-well steak, but drinking Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar instead of Köstritzer. chip agreed to be my DD, so i'm not holding back tonight (though i am passing up a chance at a Long Island, because i don't feel festive or party-y enough for that).

the alleged 35-minute wait provoked me to sit at the bar (which i have only ever done with Valerie). i ordered a shorty, knowing it would go straight to my head (because of my empty stomach) but not betray me.

10 minutes later, i was seated, and none other than Garrett[y] Stipe was taking my order. we don't have a secret handshake or anything... but we've had plenty of adventures, including Mexico and CIY, and i will never forget how much fun they were. i ordered him to play guitar for me, so i could sing along for old times' sake. he laughed. i tipped him $20. i hope he laughed again when he discovered that.


~     ~     ~

i felt more me tonight than i have in months. i was so alert and receptive, despite my non-sobriety. i was ready for anything, but relaxed. i was confident. i am confident, like the old days.

i am surrounding myself with all of the external me-paraphernalia (tangible and otherwise) that i can find. i am listening and savoring and re-accepting that i need to be different now. because things are different now, and i myself am different now. why should i remain unchanged.

my eyes won't stay open. i

friend, what have you done?

there's this question that dating people ask (too late, usually): "how do we know if it's a good idea to get married?"

i used to scorn-- seriously, i mean that in the full sense of the word! --the people who answered, "do you two make each other happy? if yes, marry. if no, stop dating." i hated hearing it. happiness?! it never lasts. right and wrong last. should and shouldn't last. not happiness. ...but my pair of dimes is quite shiny now, as it should be, and though there's little point raising the bar anymore (for me), i am still interested in where it sits.

it is higher than i can reach. like a pair of shoes ties together at the laces, thrown over a power line.

that is okay with me. better than.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

dear queen-and-king-combining-everything

i am sorry. we haven't spoken much lately. i know we need to. i've been pouring out, and i feel my room closing in (it's trying to keep me but failing). i've been kenotic. feels good to push, but i have not kept a budget, and it shows. and you suffer. i am sorry.

soon we'll hang out again, close to the horizon, and full, and beaming with new thoughts of old things. in the meantime, i'll write you.

some things that have puzzled me for years are being unraveled. solved is not the right word... rather, i am coming to terms with them, and discovering that a full understanding does not guarantee power over something. i am willing to change, but my tendency toward extremes is being overruled by a need for balance. i want this, but at the same time i am worried something important will be lost.

i have many other thoughts. none of them warrant their own paragraph. most of them revolve around a person with whom i have some kind of friendship. there's a reason that tag is the most abundant, here. i can feel each one like a vertex in a web. a messy web. half-eaten flies are gross. my room is almost clean but my life has a long way to go.

i need rest, and me, and you. and i need someone to take care of me, which is really another blog post entirely. i feel i might veer off course without a steady hand, or a shoulder-check, or a voice calling at me from my destinations.

i'm justifying this blathering ramble only by great need. when i am found, i will call you. we'll go out. Long Island[s].

oh, and please join me this Sunday night... especially if no one else does.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

re: shine

i drag myself behind, and
my ten toes burrow furrows in the sand.
i'm abandoned by the man i cannot be,
so, i hate the weight of me...
but i wish, i dream, i hope, that i might be: a fighter,
a lover, a healer, a tireless arm-biter,
someone who can carry others farther, for far longer,
yet is carried by someone stronger.
this would make me feel lighter.

i drink it in, remembering:
my fingertips linger over the rings and other sharp-edged things
and at the table tap a familiar beating to distract from the
soured wine, and from the glutted beast that will not stop eating.
and even though, in spite of, because of, in keeping
with the way certain parts of the past seem to shine
i cannot bear their fair sight for long; nor does the wine
have legs tall enough to reach solid ground.
so, i am lost in this listless longing for release...
...but perhaps you could bid these sorrows cease
and thus would i be found.

i leave my cell, unfettered.
better for having met her, yet worse for wear,
because being wounded and weathered is why
the worst winds are permitted to rip and tear me:
underneath all the harm, they work a wonder. 
and they work not alone,
because those who've come and gone may come again
in due time, their colours truly shown, still where they
have always been, just outside the grey, closer than kin,
finishing what i began; and, though my doors were barred to winter,
i was compelled to let you in
because i was bleeding, tired, frightened, gasping,
heaving sighs of accidental suicide,
dessicating, and crying because
i tried much too hard to faithfully abide... 
and i see only now, that i could easily have died.

well, i was dying.
but, because you noticed, and disagreed,
i found it far more appealing to be free.
i found it soothing: to breathe deeply.
i found it sort of a seasonal thing: in winter 
you were my roaring hearth. in spring
my sunny rainy day. in summer soon arriving
i hope to find in you a patch of shade.
(i have not yet decided whether
i want to know what fall will bring,
but perhaps, when other leaves are turning, and falling,
you'll be my evergreen.)

so: as i bear the weight, drink from the cup,
leave my cell, and lean into the wind, 
i feel as though, in every way that matters most,
i am an eight of three.

i feel this way because you enliven me.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

you're invited

i simply don't have the time or the space.

i'm realizing that good blogging requires decompression, which could require a day or an hour or ten minutes or three days. this past week compressed and challenged and shaped me a great deal, and though i see the gleam of precious gems in these exceptional experiences, i can't extract it in these few hours that i have. but maybe i can productively speculate as to the nature of what will be some extremely waluable treasures (once they're faceted and polished).

~     ~     ~

first: taking better care of myself makes me healthier, and being healthier means i can give away more of me, and giving away more of me makes me healthier.

some might argue with me on that last point. but those people know very well the personal fulfillment and growth of character that results from selfless decisions & selfless acts. it is human perichoresis, give-and-take by design. it is my design, and i will pursue it with fervor, at great risk to myself, with great rewards for myself and others. any who resist this quest of mine will find themselves very lovingly steamrolled. they have been warned. :)

second: personal investment in a person will change the investor. it is destiny that relationships of all kinds shape those who engage in them willfully, for good or for ill (often both). this change process will sometimes be very confusing, just as new math skills are confusing. but they will also be captivating, just as bonfires taller than the bonfirerers are captivating. and while there will be loss and mistakes and damage, these (preceding gain and correction and healing) can be useful and beautiful as well.

i want to say also that investment in a person will sometimes carry the inherent risk of attachment. for conscienced people, especially those who are aware of their own needs, investments in other people are often not easily controlled, withdrawn, or resisted. we should remind ourselves of this as we seek what we and others need: relationships of all kinds.

(under my e-breath, i speak here of the ineffable, inevitable integration of a person's distinct elements. for example, i do not believe there is a seam, or hem, between a person's sexual identity and that person's emotional identity. they are warp and woof. this is something i often find difficult to celebrate or even accept, but i must do so in order to become me. the same is true of thoughts and attitude, spirit and body, public life and private life. it is a foolish self-deception to believe and/or act as though they can be separated in any practical sense.)

third: i am starting to decompress. that is not my third point; i just enjoyed the realization so much that i had to share it.

third: Brandylion & i said last year that 2013 had better be awesome, because 2012 was horrific. i am concluding that 2013 is indeed awesome, and will continue to be so. i say this primarily because i am becoming healthy for the first time in several years. this is not just a happy realization. it is a reminder to myself, that i should take advantage of it. many of the things for which i have longed all my life can be grasped, some of them for the first time, this year... if i only reach for them and decide to hold on.



i am grateful to God, Who since 9th grade (and before) has been inviting me into what i just described, and has never taken my rejection of that invitation as a permanent decision, but has patiently and persistently sent card after card requesting my RSVP.

i will attend, and with several guests. (sorry, i don't have an exact number yet.)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

extrospection: iii

on january 7th of this year, i asked readers to describe me. this reply is from rell, aka müsteerium.

~     ~     ~

My carefully chosen words. Only dare to start arguing with me, I have a long whip and sharp teeth. Enihuu:



You live for others. I've never met anyone who does that. Maybe it's a cultural and/or a religious difference, but still. I am impressed, baffled and stupefied by you. You are so many leagues above me as a person.

Besides trying to be a great person overall, you also have the ability to make others around you see the light (so to speak). You have taught me so many things, even without actually teaching me and without me thinking, hey, this I should remember. But in some situations I have realised that wait, this isn't what I normally would do, this is something Isaiah would do. Patience, humbleness and graciousness for example. You are contagious in a good way.

You are impossibly stubborn in some ways and unexpectedly open-minded in others’. If you don’t understand something or don’t agree with it, you don’t just start arguing, but ask questions and try to get behind the curtain instead. This is what I really appreciate in you because of my inability to be coherent, my lack of words and our language barrier. This is what makes it so easy to talk to you. I feel you understand me even more than I do myself sometimes and without me going out of my way trying to explain myself which I sometimes have to do with other Estonians. You can be very perceptive and therefore know exactly what kinds of buttons to press which isn’t always pleasant but sometimes necessary.

You are an incredible people reader. You have surprised me many times with that. Some others who are next to me and can see my face and hear my voice have not been able to read me like you. I have no idea how you do that. And yet you don't take advantage of it, but use this ability to help me unravel whatever I'm feeling and make sense of it all. You give me the words to put my thoughts into and I don't mean English or Estonian for that matter. Another thing I have to thank you for.

But the stubbornness reveals itself when the matters come to you, then you have a too strict thinking habit and you don’t let people tell you what you are like, even though it’s their own perspective. We have a saying that you don’t hit the askers mouth, so just accept compliments and shut up, you don’t have to agree with them. You’ll get people out of your hair much easier that way.

You are respectful of others, gracious and kind, even if you don't benefit from it. You want to analyse and make things better not just to leave them be and let them unravel by themselves, even if those matters don’t concern you.

Keep in mind that nobody is meant to be perfect and it is okay to be selfish once in a while and not to do what others expect of you if it means that it will be bad for you in some ways (making others happy and therefore being happy yourself isn’t always a good enough reason). Not everyone needs you to always take care of them. Let them come to you when they need something - believe me, they will. I also do know that you want to do everything in your power to help them, but I’m afraid you are draining yourself too much without even realising it and it can only end in one way – you not being able to give any energy to anyone for a long time, even if there’s a family crisis that really needs you. I know we are different but I’ve been there and I know what can happen. Just think about it.

As much as I've seen over the internet, I'm not the only one who thinks highly of you. Those responses in extrospection, someone called faithfullysubmitted asking your opinion, because they trust you have one that is worth anything, random posts from friends on your timeline - all this assures me - you are one of a kind and someone who I need in my life to grow and to be better to myself and to others as well.

No one has overwhelmed me as much as you have, so that I almost fall down the stairs - twice -, stand in the middle of the street with no idea what I’m supposed to be doing, staring at legos for several minutes trying to find a jigsaw puzzle; so that I laugh so hard even long after we’ve hung up, record my own singing and write your name on my pillow.

Sometimes you drive me crazy, just by being your amazing I-have-no-idea-how-you-do-it self.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is that you are beautiful inside and outside. I would trust you with anything. Thank you for letting me into your life.

Love,
R



PS. Sorry I couldn’t find any negative aspects in you. I honestly tried really hard, but came up with nothing.

extrospection: ii

on january 7th of this year, i asked readers to describe me. this reply is from tidelurker.

~     ~     ~

I think you're too unique and complex for me to capture in a broad scope even with my writing abilities. I also think my extrospection wouldn't add any new information to all the diligent introspection you have had. I was encouraged to follow your example on one thing, especially recently, and I think it might be one insight you could possibly not have seen in yourself this same way.

You have a powerful wit and refreshing humor that could easily be used for shaming others and pursuing selfish gain, but you use them even in the most heated and stubborn arguments in a way that is thoughtfully diplomatic and disarmingly humble. Because of the forethought you have, you can resist emotional outbursts and the temptation to speak to another person condescendingly. Instead, you find ways to make your points and voice strong convictions... leaving the recipient of your honest communications no room for offense other than what they choose to be offended at.

extrospection: i

on january 7th of this year, i asked readers to describe me. this reply is from elmadu.

~     ~     ~

wow. alright, i suppose i’ll be the brave first commenter. i tried to kind of organize my thoughts like you said (except in reverse order… save the best for last, right?), but i’m not sure i was successful in doing that. i guess you can make that judgment if it's important. well, here goes...

- you are analytical and logically-minded, usually able to get by without showing a huge amount of emotion publicly (not in the dramatic sense, anyway).
- you prefer not to be the center of attention. it’s not all about you. but if, for some reason, you need to be, you are willing, for a relatively short time. you do not mind solitude, and sometimes prefer it, though you're willing to talk to someone if they need it.
- you love making yourself and other people better in any way you can, even (or especially) if it involves some level of discomfort. you are pretty constructively critical of yourself and others. i can see how this could potentially be a little much (especially on yourself), but i don't necessarily know. you are good at noticing small details, some that many other people overlook.
- you need (or at least try to find) a reason for everything you do. you don’t believe things just because someone says them, but are skeptical and analyze pretty much everything. you need to have a plan before you jump into something, as well as alternative plans. when you say something, it is usually well thought out, using specific words to fit what you want to say, even if it isn’t always their common meaning. and each word has purpose; if you have nothing to say, you are perfectly fine saying nothing.

- you are influential to those around you, and, as you have said, have the ability to manipulate their emotions. you can make people want to either "come out of their shells" (i detest that phrase. i can't believe i'm actually using it) or go back into them.
- you are intelligent and good at figuring things out. you have a quick wit and a good sense of humor, which is aided by your exposure to lots of things.
- even if i knew you just a little, i might assume (at least partially correctly) that you were one of those people who excels in pretty much everything.
- you have excellent taste in music, in my opinion. probably closer to my own than anyone i've met (that may or may not include even people in my immediate family). when you make music yourself, it is not forced, so it affects other people more.

- you are a patient and encouraging teacher, but one with high expectations. you enjoy making others think deeply about important things, especially if it is in a new light for them. this is also true of yourself.
- i can count on your sincerity in anything you say (unless of course you say that you’re “fine” ;). sometimes, though, you are limited by your ability and/or memory to follow through with something if it is not a serious commitment.
- above all, you seek truth: in Christianity, in other relationships, in situations, in yourself... it has to be real, whether or not it's pleasant. you love making people feel Loved, and will pretty much always put others above yourself. you will not seem kind at the expense of truth, because it wouldn’t be Loving.
- if things get past your… for lack of a better phrase… surface defenses, you feel them very deeply and seriously. though you are not always very dramatic with your emotions, you still have a great need for meaningful relationships. you long and love to be truly understood (i suppose that's true of everyone to some degree, whether they realize it or not). you hate surface-level relationships… it's all or nothing. i guess you have that outlook about most things.

wow. that turned out to be really long. :/ hope this was somewhat helpful.
~elmadu~