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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

good grief

today i talked with our mutual friend, and could not contain my tears as i finally realized what it might mean to let go, and why that could be the right thing to do. all this time, i've been holding on. even my plans to flee were born of an attachment i was loathe to surrender. i am attached to you, despite what your confusing message said, and have been for years. happily and healthfully, i might add, although that addition would be an obvious and pitiful attempt to defend it (though i believe it to be true). today's 2.5-hr conversation (my lunch break is supposed to be 1 hour) showed me that, paradoxically, i have a responsibility to give up most of that responsibility, to withdraw that investment, to sever that attachment... because somehow, in the very first and [i hope] last instance of this occurring in my life, the kind of friendship i offer so naturally and eagerly is the opposite of helpful. that grates against my heart, and makes me want to puke. i'm serious; i really felt like actually vomiting, when the realization first gripped me. and then i cried, right there at lunch, because this time, i saw the solid reasoning behind the goodbye. this time, it wasn't just my feelings telling me what to do; it wasn't desperation. it wasn't for lack of better options. it actually made sense to me. and yet / and so i still feel a little bit like puking. at a time when the battle is hottest, when blood is being shed, when even simple kindnesses could be a welcome warmth and blessing... that's when this soldier is sent home. i tremble with a hunger for those front lines: to be actively militantly opposed to the forces, sentient or otherwise, that are set against you. i regularly dream up ways to brighten your day, to find something of comfort, to encourage, to foster hope, or just to relieve a little of the stress. to offer whatever i can, even if it's only my presence or my prayers. and of course, mixed in with my urge to do something helpful is the draw i feel constantly: to be your friend. to do something that expresses that friendship, and to invite you to reciprocate, and to [rightfully?] expect that you would. but what our friend tells me leads me away from these things; our friend's words tacitly suggest i find a way to inhibit at the effing heart level some of the most iconic and foundational elements of my identity, as i express them in our friendship. well... it's not about me. i do not serve myself. but rather, i will serve you, and Him, and pray that His desires are fulfilled... very preferably with my help; but if He chooses not, then so be it. whatever sacrifices i make, whatever contradictions or tensions i feel between my various motivations (primary, secondary, tertiary, et cetera), whatever amount of time is needed to reach that next place... whatever is Asked of me, i will find a way to give it.

i love you and miss you, so much... maybe not
more than i ever have, per se, but closer to my core, where life-changing decisions and true sacrifices are made. and the pain i feel is not primarily of loss, but of something breaking.

and so, the one selfish prayer that i will allow myself, is this: that the breaking is in preparation for the construction of something better.

please, please, please Father, please
let it be so

Friday, October 18, 2013

this wheel

i haven't the energy or wakefulness to even summarize what just happened to me, nor to carefully process everything meaningful that occurred today. but i have to mark the moment.

something extremely important is happening.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

something in the way that you are



i can feel the cold air flood into my lungs
brave another winter and pray for the sun
but the sun will never warm my heart the way that you do
you got me singing out

i live in a castle where no one can come near
every wall was laid with bricks of mortar and tears
i swore i'd never lower down this old bridge again
with every word you speak, my walls crumble in
when we both sing

there was a time when i could tell you for sure
that love was just a cruel charade of
empty words and promises to break
but something in the way that you are
makes me wanna start again

love can draw a fine line between wisdom and folly
and clarity of vision proves itself beyond worth
but every line is blurry when your eyes are like mine
but still i clearly see what you'd have me find
when we both sing

with all the crippling fear that heartache can bring
darling if you take my hand
i'll walk with you from winter into spring
something in the way that you are
keeps me hanging on again

with all the crippling fear that heartache can bring
darling if you take my hand
i'll walk with you from winter into spring
something in the way that you are
makes we want to start

purustatud

i trusted you.

but, just like the phrase "i need ____", those three words mean nothing without some prepositional phrase following. context normally supplies the needed meaning, but i dislike relying on that all the time. it's better to be specific, for clarity- especially when DTR is needed. and it is needed, if two people are to be at peace and enjoy each other's company. (most of the time people use society's ready-made templates, but you know how much i despise those.)

so now, for integrity's sake, i have to ask myself: with what did i entrust you?

the answer tonight: my identity.


~     ~     ~

extrospection is very dangerous. it leaves me vulnerable. and, it doesn't take a blog post to extrospect. it can happen in a spontaneous conversation. it can happen in a postcard. it can happen in a song shared.

between two close friends especially: anything expressed through any medium, if the expresser invests lor opinion of the other in that expression, is dangerous.

this is not because close friendship automatically makes someone impressionable by nature. rather, close friendship is built on a feeling of trust. feelings of trust can circumvent or even erode strong defenses. case in point: i defend my opinion of myself vigorously, often via what others perceive as excessive self-deprecation. but you are constantly building secret-effing-passages. you serendipitously find lost keys to forgotten locked doors. you vault over battlements and crenelations and tonnes of other crazy shit like that. you go behind my back and tell the troops that next day is a holiday, and then encourage eating and drinking and being merry... so that the next day, when i should be securing my hard-earned low self-concept by way of drills and combat exercises, instead i'm... i... you...



there is a word for you. it's saboteur. you ruin my disapproval of self, on purpose. i have known this for months... what i hadn't experienced yet (at least not to tonight's degree) was the kind of doubt that would motivate me to banish you.

and i am so motivated. there's not an iota of difference between how much i care about you, and how much i want to send you away. for so long you had me be-living (if not believing) that our friendship was mutually beneficial. you had me thinking that maybe i could be a positive element in your life. and really, it's a matter of integrity again: if i was living that way, then i was believing it. so i guess you convinced me.

i was mistaken, it turns out. but since you are responsible for convincing me of it in the first place, i won't apologize. damn me for a complete idiot, though, lack of apology notwithstanding.

i trusted you to tell me something important and true about myself. that's huge!! i trusted you with my self-concept! you shaped it with every tool & trick you had, and did a masterful job. well, i now applaud your work, even as it collapses.


~     ~     ~

there are many things that confuse me still. i suspect most of our argument is actually misunderstanding... like so many of our arguments have been. and i suspect we could clear them up... like we have so many times before.

except that something is different this time. i don't know what it is... and that is worrying. also, you seem... well, not unconcerned with those misunderstandings, but actually something worse. you want to perpetuate them? multiply them? these are my best guesses.

i have much more to express, but it's late and i am emptied.

"i hope your plans all work out and that you will be happy. bye"

they can't all work out, since you were a major part of them (oh sure, i save up a few grand for every little thing that mildly interests me). and i can't be anything close to happy about the way this ended, so that's fucked also. but hey, at least you were really polite in the way that you finished the conversation, and that's what counts, right?

title: waves

i don't have any way to express what i'm feeling right now. my recently-birthed plan to treat my emotional self with respect & acceptance is temporarily out the window. but i have to say something or else i will harm myself somehow (not physically). and all of that leaves me here, speaking to no one, these four sentences.

five: nothing, not even moral failure, destroys my courage more than watching something i worked hard to build, something i believed in, wash out with the tide like it was always only sand.

six: i think i need to write a longer post.

Monday, October 07, 2013

who i am hates who i've been

i am sorry for the distance i've created between [all/any of] you & me. my choices affect not only those involved directly, but all who are (or even have been) close to me. please forgive me. please be gracious, even if only to erase and preclude any grudges, bitterness, or lasting pain.

i desire good things. i desire closeness (intimacy, really, of all kinds). i desire deep friendships and the mutual nourishment that those yield.

to that end, i would like to describe myself as i am now. questions about who i was are invited, but i will not be very forthcoming with details, because those details horrify and shame me. who i am now, does not. (not that i'm content, but i'm making progress. so, actually, being discontent is a good thing, because it motivates me toward becoming more myself. (the correct self, not the crappy one.))

i should (and would like to) give credit to Whom credit is due. i have already publicly thanked several of you for the life into which you've helped bring me, and into which you are still helping to bring me. but if i am to be most honest, i should trace back everything good in my life to this singular Source: the God-man from Nazareth, Who is Himself light & truth & joy & peace in unmeasured abundance, the very definition of wholeness, Whose hand reaches further and farther than any other, into and around and through the depths of me that no one else can see or touch (in this life). it is because He speaks not only against who i was, but in favor of who i should be, that i can move forward. i am at His service, and painfully aware that if i were to ultimately serve anyone or anything else, i would resume my foolish march on the road to perdition, and at this point, probably arrive far ahead of schedule. He is finally responsible for any of the good you see in me, whether He designed it initially or redeemed it recently. 

He says you're welcome. ;)

*whew* welp... yup. words. in great number. you've just finished reading this post's introduction! two isjami points if you keep reading, and two bonus points if you don't switch browser tabs until you're done.

~     ~     ~

"hi, i'm anonymous asker. i have no specific age or gender or really anything specific, other than the way i talk, which is extremely similar to yours. what's your name?"

hi. my name is isaiah, and today i prefer to define my current self in light of [mainly] three groups of things: struggles, plans, and beliefs. for that last category, and only for the purposes of this post, i mean specifically the beliefs i hold about my role[s] in this chapter and the next, in contrast with my roles in previous life-chapters.

struggles
- the first that comes to mind is the struggle to define my relationships. using that term brings a smirk to my face, because at Vanguard we used it so often that it became abbreviated: "DTR." in fact, it was so common to see two people (often one of each gender) discussing with a great deal of body language and vocal dymanics the precise nature, the history, and the future of that relationship, that we came to refer to certain concrete benches as "DTR blocks," even when they were being put to much more casual use.

DTR is my primary struggle in this chapter. you can see some of this in posts labeled grey, where i discuss the absurdity of my younger and less experienced self's notion of this dichotomy: platonic | romantic. my smirk turns to a disgusted, eye-rolling sigh as i consider how foolish i was, to think that there is a wall between the two. there is not; that wall is an illusion. early on in life, it can be quite a helpful one... but in reality, it is only a dotted line between two lanes on a speed-limit-less freeway. and i wish i had learned that the easy way instead of the shitty way.

DTR is not only about that, though. the combination of what i've done and what's been done to/around me has led me away from some of the people i've valued and enjoyed the most. old friendships have been archived, brought back down to be dusted off, forgotten, attenuated, bedraggled, discombobulated, outlawed, and in some few cases ruthlessly exsanguinated. simply navigating through that morass has cost me dearly, as if i had much left to spend after losing so much, relationally speaking.

however: i call it a current struggle because i'm still trying. some friendships are rooted deeply enough that only a few drops of water is enough to revive them, and they have or may resume their growth, with consistent nourishment. 

- the second struggle that comes to mind, is the struggle to become healthy. i spoke earlier of He who spoke against the me i had chosen to be. His voice can be a balm (or "da balm" for you hip teens reading this), but it can also cut sharply, dividing soul & spirit, joint & marrow. being cut in this way is not punishment; it is surgery.

having been under His knife several times, i can say now with great confidence that cooperating with such operations is always an excellent idea. i am no longer infested by certain malignant elements which nearly destroyed me entirely. but, there is still this work to be done, and it could be appropriately termed recovery.

it amazes me, not only that i was so unhealthy last chapter, but that i was so blind to my unhealth. truly, i feel this emotion called astonishment, looking back at myself. how? how did i survive long enough to make it to the hospital?

doesn't matter. i have this work to do, and it involves something i thought i was good at but apparently sucked at: taking care of myself. actually, that's one of the reasons why i have felt such intense gratitude for you this chapter: you were giving me something i was not providing for myself.

to be somewhat fair, i am very good at self-providing certain things, most of them via introspection... but this is not always a healing process; instead it serves as sort of a pre-op procedure, or even monthly check-ups.  i am also fairly good at knowing what kind of rest i need.

but, this chapter has brought something new: the purposeful development of daily & weekly habits that keep me out of depression, self-harm, physical malnourishment, and sedentariness. it feels strange to spend so much time thinking about how to take care of myself. it is very different than figuring out what i want at any given moment. it's keeping track of my needs, and fulfilling them.

i am a very needy person in this chapter. that's what recovery's about, i suppose: 7-UP and Saltines and movies. restorative therapy. but, it doesn't feel good, most of the time. i mean... being cared for feels good. but my awareness of the role-reversal feels wrong.

i need you to understand: it feels exactly like putting your left shoe on your right foot would feel, if putting the correct shoe on the correct foot were mankind's highest ethical obligation. it isn't just uncomfortable. it scrapes against my conscience

i probably don't need to explain that further to any of you. i'm sure i have several times already.

so, i'm struggling toward health. this is different than me in the past because i was always struggling for the health of others. it felt right to do so, and maybe it was right. but i'm the one in need, now.

eff.

on the other hand: it feels good to regain use of myself, to increase in functionality, to grab Effday by the throat and swing him around like in the Olympic shot-put event and toss him a basquillion meters. it feels good to accomplish things i once only dreamt of accomplishing. it feels good not just to recover but to grow.

this struggle interacts quite often with the first one (DTR). apparently i'm not the only one who feels uncomfortable being the caree rather than the carer. some people have adverse physical reactions to feeling like the friendship isn't 'equal' in terms of what's given & received on each side. and, while i can understand and respect that, i cannot simply make all (or any) friendship[s] equal.

what i can do is offer select individuals (you may already qualify for eligibility to be selected!! urgent: details inside!!! this offer ends next chapter!!!!) occasional opportunities to help me in specific ways.

...you're welcome??  :S

- another struggle: living with my family. this is a smaller one, but still significant. it also interacts with the first (DTR). i have to keep reminding myself that i can't expect perfection from my parents. isn't that stupid? how do i not know that already? somewhere in me, something is outraged when they do something that seems wrong. but why in the world would i expect them to do only the things that seem right to me?!

the most i've come up with so far, is that they always asserted themselves as my moral authorities, with a right to discipline me according to their own ideas. this is tough to discard, especially as the first-born, and also especially because of my innate sense of hyper-responsibility. i hold myself accountable for a great deal of what happens around me, even if i don't have an explicitly defined obligation. something in me drives me to take responsibility. (i don't always follow it, but i almost always feel it.)

so, here i am at age 27, living rent-free (see below, under "plans") and putting up with my parents. they're wonderful people, generous and caring... but sometimes they're stupid, and do stupid things. this conflicts with my programming: i was coded to follow them, yet i was also coded to think for myself. 

differentiation is hard no matter what. but it's way harder at home.

plans
living rent-free is very much a choice on my part. i can afford an apartment. i can even afford an apartment and luxuries such as Starbucks and movies and steak and long islands and comfy, questionably-stylish clothing. with the recent advent of the 5c, i could even afford all of the above and an iPhone.

(_____|_____)

i have plans. 

- during this past year, a newly discovered wanderlust combined with some other passions of mine (such as photography) to form this vacation dreamlette: a few weeks in Estonia.

"where's that? is that even a real place??"

i hope so, because i've already saved up enough money to get there and back again.

"why are you going there?"

because it's several centuries older than California, which means it has soupsauce churches and cobblestone roads and medieval walls and stuffs. because the World Health Organization has rated it the country with the cleanest air (while Fresno remains worse than LA in air quality). because there, instead of Starbucks they have saunas. because if you want to stay in a fifty-year-old farmhouse instead of a hotel, you can take your pick of several. because their economy caters very intentionally to tourism. because Ghost's pictures make me think i could very easily fall in love with Tallinn. because of the photo opps. because they have hedgehogs.

and because everything there will be a completely new experience.

"you could get that last thing in Omaha also."

that's still America. i need something more differenter.

"why?"

because... as i was telling Friendica a few weeks ago, there's something about new things that invigorates the new me. even the non-exotic makes me feel more alive, if i'm experiencing it firsthand. this is especially true of places. i guess it's a facet of the wanderlust i mentioned earlier. it's probably also a reaction to the drudgery of last chapter: the repetitious unpleasantries made me dislike repetition itself even more. 

"what repetitious unpleasantries?"

unhealthy marriage. you can read more about that in posts labeled divorce and marriage, but i don't know why you would really want to, unless you were one of those directly affected by the unhealth.

anyway: i need new. i don't just want it. something about it feeds some new hunger i have, and i have deemed this hunger a healthy one. in keeping with my new goal of nourishing myself well, i have decided to feed it. just the thought of stepping onto the airplane excites me.

previously, excitement was almost a foreign language to isaiah. now it's one stray thought away; i envision it every day.

Utah gave me a massive dose of this. likewise snowboarding in Yosemite. i even feel it (a little) when i drive to the Mojave or Tracy for work purposes. i got it when i walked Seattle for a couple of hours one afternoon, and when i drove through the jungleypoos of Seatac.

i need more doses. bigger doses. 

- my own website is something i've wanted since forever. i don't just mean a page that has colors i chose and text i wrote; i mean the code itself. this blog's previous template is the closest i've ever come to that dream, and even then i used Google's template and modified it.

my next one will be from scratch, and i'll have my own domain, and the design will be all mine, and the database architecture, and... oh man. i'm drooling already.

"nerding out much?"

quite a bit. but first i have to learn Python and some advanced CSS and whatever HTML5 that proves useful to me. so, i'm spending 3 or 4 of my lunch breaks per week on programming instead of resting. it feels good. it feels good to move forward. to make progress. to learn new skills. to become proficient at building something by hand.

- i also have some local-ish outdoorsy plans. these are less specific, and they depend heavily on reaching my personal health goals, but they are definitely plans and not just dreams. Half Dome is high on the list. Zion Narrows as well, though that will take a little more time and planning and resources. i have a mountain bike that i only use around town. it deserves more. i have a professional-quality DSLR. i have a hammock. what am i even doing here right now? okay, going hiking, bye!

jk, i have to at least finish this post first. and i should probly clock out at the normal time. but soon... soon i will cliiiimb eeeevery mountaaaaain, foooord eeevery streeeeeeeam...

oh the old nun vibrato. gets me every time.

beliefs
this will be the shortest section. you're almost there. you can make it.

previously i believed it was my job only to serve others (thereby serving the aforementioned Nazarethian God-man). my neediness in this chapter, along with several other persuasive voices, have directed me to follow my own dreams. this seems at first glance to conflict with my servant's role.

but, the fact is, i am largely detached from my church ministries at this point, both practically and emotionally. (the exception to that statement lies in the fact that my detachment from music ministry is a result of complications rather than attenuation.) i am still the eldest brother Micu, but even the youngest can now fend for himself. (i mean to say that i no longer cook his scrambled eggs and fried spam for him.) i am still useful in most of the places where i spend time, but i am not strictly needed. i am easily replaced.

no negative comments here, readers; i already wrote extensively about being needed and such. it's only a few posts back. go read it (after this) if it makes you feel better.

what i'm saying is, not only have i been given more responsibility for caring for me, i've also been given much less responsibility for caring for others. and everyone seems to be okay with this, from the neediest caree to the people caring for me. so, i am in the process of concluding that this is the best time in life so far, for me to g[r]o[w]. in fact, if not for my extreme aversion to hyper-spiritualization, i would say that i'm being led to g[r]o[w].

i used to believe that all opportunities to serve others superceded anything i might do for my own growth. i even considered the two to be intertwined inextricably; and perhaps they were, for a long time. 

but that time seems passing, and i find things increasingly extricable now.



i don't want anyone to think that i have no attachments here. in some cases, the strength of my attachment is motivation to g[r]o[w] rather than stay.

but i am gaining momentum, and there are very, very few things that could keep me here. some of them aren't even bad; in fact they're potentially excellent and praiseworthy. they are, however, so implausible as to be undeserving of any expectant thought.

i understand that this does not answer all of anyone's questions; perhaps it doesn't fully answer any one question that anyone is asking. but i'm confident you'll find some value in it, and perhaps even in other posts i've referenced herein.

there are some things about the old days that i miss quite a bit. it helps me to accept the fact that they are gone, when i realize how special that makes them. it also helps to know that even as chapters come and go, friendships can remain strong and enjoyable and beneficial. the content and feel of our connection may change, but i will always value you and our past experiences highly.

thank you for friendship, before and now and to come.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

sacrosanct

the love of God is greater far
than tongue or pen can ever tell
it goes beyond the highest star
and reaches to the lowest hell

it transcends time and disdains space
leaves me enmeshed in my trials
movement itself becomes my race:
one day, a year; one inch, a mile

have i with care this journal filled
and i this speech, with candor made
and were these nights my tremors stilled
and was my world of lies betrayed...

...to write the love of God above
on pages i cannot turn?
...to write the names of whom i love
on parchment destined to burn?

oh, love of God: how rich and pure!
how measureless and strong
yet, if invisible, then sure
to strain my sight for everlong

oh, love of God: it canst be found
in heav'nly lands afar
alas, i tarry in the ground
in sickly light of fallen star



the love of God is greater yet
than word or deed has ever told
to one like me; and i regret
to say i cannot feel its hold
on earth or man, nor in these rhymes
though angels' wings stir the air
around the throne, and outside time...

...just not in daily life lived here

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

sacred

i'm starting to crack again. it's too much to carry by myself, and i am extra tired of doing things primarily for *my* benefit. sometimes i try to consider what would be best for isaiah, and my brain just shuts down because it has no clue how to process that...

...except to say, "leave it all behind."

i told an old friend today, that i expect these present struggles will not be finally resolved until about two years from now. but i'm already exhausted, and my support is shrinking instead of growing. i feel like everything i depended on this last year is eroding, and i'll soon be left with only whatever air i can take in before i slip under.

"maybe if you'd stop being so dramatic, you could just float instead of thrashing your way to rock bottom?"

that's not really a question, anonymous asker. stop saying words. you don't know what it's like to have so many things turned upside down, to feel abandoned in a time of need, to have your most treasured things in life taken away (for good reasons, which is actually worse!) . . . to be abruptly alone.

in keeping with last post: the best things in life are not replaceable. there can be no adequate substitutes. 

what compares to trust built slowly & gradually? could anyone ever say of a close friend, "well of course that friend was really special to me; but i'm sure there are others just as awesome, whom i'll befriend soon enough" ?? or, has anyone ever thought, "i would probably be just dandy if [s]he suddenly vanished" ?!?

i cannot fully wrap my mind around this situation i'm in. i claw and clamber for some tool or trick to change things, but it's futile.

i realized today that i'm angry... which is strange for me in this chapter because i left the majority of that junk behind, in the previous. so that was actually the first sign that i was breaking. i was (and am!) angry at people and situations and even myself a little.

my default way of dealing with anger is to accuse myself of selfishness. but people i trust keep telling me to take care of myself, and make sure my own needs are met, and forgive myself, and blah blah effing blah. well, it isn't working out like you had hoped. i don't do well on my own anymore. 

i don't think anyone really understands that. i really am way WAY healthier & stronger than i was even 6 months ago... but that doesn't mean i'm no longer in repair. i'm not together yet, fully, and i am unsure how to get there without certain voices nearby.

i just want to get out. i'm tired of all of this. i wish i could leave, and stop bloodying my fingertips on this abhorrent Gordian. 

i find elements that i should classify as personal anathema, fouling my most sacred spaces and casting shadows where the best light should be. it's cold and rank here and i hate it.

i would give almost anything to make things better. but i cannot. so i feel like giving up.

the mirthless, hilarious irony, is that it probably wouldn't even matter.