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Saturday, January 11, 2014

kümpsi



i'm lying on the moon
my dear, i'll be there soon
it's a quiet starry place
times we're swallowed up in space 
we're here a million miles away

there's things i wish i knew
there's no thing i keep from you
it's a dark and shiny place
but with you my dear, i'm safe 
and we're a million miles away

we're lying on the moon
it's a perfect afternoon
your shadow follows me all day
making sure that i'm okay 
and we're a million miles away


~     ~     ~

once upon a time, there was a wonderful person named Spike Jonze. many people liked the cut of his jib.

one day Spike Jonze got a message from the Universe. the Universe said to Spike, "Spike, i want you to make a movie for isaiah micu."

and Spike said, "who the eff is isaiah micu?"

the Universe replied, "shut up and take this down."

and Spike did.

~     ~     ~

i don't know if i can do this right now. it's too much to process, and too soon. maybe later. yes... later, when the script and the in-film version of the song are available, i will link quotes to old posts and induce shivers with Scarlett's vocals. right now i just need to vent. i seriously just finished writing about this stuff. and i don't just mean that recent one. i mean these past two years. eff... okay, maybe i can say it this way: have you ever gone to the theater with the conscious hope that it would serve as an outlet for what you were feeling? or, have you ever gone hoping that it would help you understand or express something? i realize that's not the typical movie-goer's typical attitude. in fact it's probably exceedingly rare for anyone to internally verbalize that.

on the other hand, maybe people do the subconscious version of it all the time. maybe stereotypical guys go to action films because they need to express their desire to act. maybe stereotypical girls see chick flicks because they need to release something that the movie extracts from them by dramatizing it on the big screen.

whatever. this movie was more than that for me. it was that for sure, and in multiple ways, but it grew me a little bit. i feel like i gained something permanent. geeks would say i've leveled up; spiritual guides would say i'm one karmic point closer to enlightenment. Rybarczyk would say that something has finally finished seeping down across the dentricles. i wonder what you would say.

i would say-- no, i do say-- that i've found a film that gives my arational self something solid on which to stand. i often speak of being mostly fearless, but i do have splinters of fear embedded deeply in me. they are tiny, but sharp. a few may have caused infection. this movie removed some of them... painfully, but with admirable surgical precision.

but, it also chewed me into a frothy pulp. or swallowed me whole. or suspended me in a concentrate of my own aura. (ew...) or maybe it suffocated me with pure oxygen. or danced on my future grave.

whatever it did, i feel satisfied. but i want more of it. might have to see it again. like... todarrow.



i should probably warn you that it is very much what they call an 'adult' film. so... don't go rushing to the box office, any of you. (walk there slowly.)

"isaiah, some of us are old enough to deal with an R-rated experience."

AHA you think yourself safe. but this movie is dual-wielding, sir (or madame?). this movie will cut to the core anyone willing to take it seriously. you may not cringe with conservatism at the questionable content, but, should you decide to allow the film access to your thoughts and feelings, you will certainly be shaken at the least. you may even be inspired to rave madly about it on your blog, using metaphors that almost make sense.

"is that all you were inspired to do?"

no. i was inspired to be a little more of these things: brave - creative - loving - malleable - gentle - attentive - selfless - vulnerable - joyful - alive - self-aware - mature - myself

thank you, Spike Jonze. i owe you something intangible, something of permanent value. and you owe me an explanation, of how you were able to target me so personally, so intimately.

jerk.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

no sorries

my recent post about the dangers of relationships should be taken very seriously. there is, however, another side to that coin. it deserves to be polished and examined and appreciated.

whilst speaking with Sensei last Saturday, i uttered this sentence: "conventional relationship models have never satisfied me." this needs to be unpacked. the self-critical person should never neglect those constructs in which he is confident, those ideas or traits of which he is proud.

one of the best ways to learn about how one is different, is from others. this is the advantage of extrospection. example: two of my friends (sisters to each other) were once discussing me, and they concluded that i was the kind of person willing to befriend anyone of any age. apparently this is not a common thing in society today. of course there are advantages and unique potentialities to be found in peer-to-peer friendships, but there are also [mis]perceived disadvantages to friendships between people of significantly different ages.

too many words... this always happens to me when i let too much time pass between the inspiration for a post and the actual writing of it. let me try again.

those boundaries which seem to naturally separate people of my context into 'naturally occuring' relationship categories, are mostly accepted by the world. in many cases people are simply unaware of them; in others, they are actually enforced. a high-schooler who eats lunch with junior-highers would probably be questioned by his peers, or (more likely) silent & automatic assumptions would be made about his involvement thereof. friendships across age categories, socio-economic status, themes (emo, skater, jock, prep), perceived intelligence, and various other boundaries are often stigmatized.

this is not Design.

one of my favorite things about my home-away-from-home-church in Orange, CA is the strong representation of each age group. that church body is smaller in number than CCC's, and yet each individual pew holds at least one member of each generation. not only are the age groups well-represented, but they intermingle freely. that is Design.

my good friend and honored guest-blogger T.C. Lewis could (and would, i hope) testify both to the value of boundary-crossing, and to the goodness of the motivations theretoward. i would expect the same testimony of the young[est] Duff elmadu. and, according to my interpretation of the Word, Jesus would have some nice things to say about it.

i have embraced and been embraced by this thing (not sure what to call it yet) since elementary. partly due to my homeschool upbringing, i hardly even learned what those boundaries were in the first place! and in high-school, my decision to be missional (sorry for the churchianistic vocab) in friendships took the lack of relational categorization and built a home on that vacant lot, a home which i find both dangerous and inviting.

in "fair warning, fair lady" i spoke about the dangers. here i will speak (with less words, i hope) about the appeal.

~     ~     ~

it weirds me out that the world's philosophy of life would promote the pros of differing perspectives, while simultaneously denouncing (often sub-consciously) the cons of inter-categorical friendships. it seems to say, at once, "everyone has something to contribute, even if they are radically different from the majority" and also "birds of differing feathers should flock separately." i do not understand why our school systems, sports teams, and even some churches are actively enforcing divisions between [mostly arbitrary] types of people, while claiming to value diversity.

anyway... that's a rant against the world. this post is supposed to be a rave about Design. stupid rabbit trails. let me try again, again:

my life, my personhood, my mind and heart and soul are far richer and far more mature, because of the fences i have joyfully jumped. happily hopped. which phrase rolls better? whatever. you get it. my life is better because i either discarded or neglected to even notice those fences.

it is partly because of this that i can defend my relationships with women. yes, they are often difficult to define, and even more difficult to explain to others. yes, they are often beset by tensions and hazards and opposing forces (e.g. grey areas, pragmatics, parents)... but, like elmadu, i consider the reward to be worth the trouble.

my bestestest friends have mostly been close to me in age. but, this has occurred naturally; i have rarely if ever precluded the good that could come of a friendship by respecting the boundaries put up by society. i have rarely if ever avoided friendship with a person simply because i was different from them. the very idea seems absurd as i type it! who would ever knowingly do such a thing??

"but isaiah, you avoid loud outgoing extraverts."

i don't avoid them because they're different. i avoid closeness with them because that closeness would eventually cause us to either forsake or murder each other. it's kind of like pizza: i don't run whenever i see it, and i don't badmouth it. but i don't eat it, either, because... well, you know. yeah. anyways...

my favorite cousin is 9 years younger, and female.
the friend i hang out with 1-1 most often is in his thirties.
my most frequent authorial collaborator is 20.
in 6th grade, most of my friends at church were a couple years older, and female.

i could list more, but i can't remember the ages or grades of peeps. suffice to say that i have no pre-existing compunctions whatsoever about befriending anyone. (i am extremely selective about those with whom i develop mutual closeness, but this, i have learned, is a necessary life-skill, and not a prejudice.)

the apparent recklessness (i call it boldness, or more broadly 'Design') with which i approach relationships is not simply a personality trait, nor just a weird quirk i developed as a result of my upbringing. it is purposeful. i do not fear friendships; i do not fear the very real pitfalls along the road to intimacy of varying kinds. quite the opposite: i long for that intimacy, and make it my goal to achieve it, motivated both by my created inner structure and by my Corinthian mission (the good kind of Corinthian, of course-- see chapter 13 of the first book).



there are dangers inherent in the pursuit of any good thing, if we are careful not to automatically associate 'danger' with 'bad' or 'wrong.' driving a vehicle is dangerous. so is following Christ. so is playing tug-of-war.

so is friendship. so is intimacy.

i am quite familiar with the hurt than comes with Loving people. i am also quite familiar with its deeply satisfying nature, with its necessity. i would venture to say that it is more dangerous to avoid intimacy than to seek it out wisely. and i encourage you, sir or lady, to learn all you can about how to navigate it. 

if this were a class, i would ask each student to make a list of societally-defined relationship categories and boundaries. boyfriend. best friend. enemy. stranger. acquaintance. gender. IQ. MBTI. ethnicity. language. foundation of morality. religion. temperament. disability/handicap. ...and so on. then, i would ask for a personal definition of each term.

then, i would ask how persons of each category should be treated. i would ask what sort of attitude one should have toward each kind of person, and what healthy limits should be established for each kind of relationship. i would also ask for justification of those limits. i believe the answers would reveal much about who we are, about who we are supposed to be, and about how much overlap there is (or is not) between those two.



to be fair: there is one tropism driving and guiding me, which biases me heavily toward a certain trait. that trait is need. but, to be extra fair, i have not yet discovered a person devoid of need. perhaps they need little or nothing that i myself possess, but everyone needs others. i cannot think of any danger or ethic that would rightfully demand complete isolation. i cannot think of any reason to eschew intimacy itself.

and, in keeping with my all-or-nothing approach to the most important things in life, i therefore conclude that intimacy itself (of varying kinds) should be a lifelong passionate pursuit.

i recognize that many things stand in the way of it. but intimcy itself is not problematic; the approach and handling of it can be. please be wise about your pursuit... but the ultimate foolishness would be to allow fear to stutter one's steps.

i'll make this final plea on your behalf (yes, you): He Who is & made & desires intimacy with & between all people is surely drawing you into this pursuit that i've described here, this present darkness notwithstanding. the problem of evil is a problem, and it will certainly discourage you along the way. but please, please, please: neither neglect nor give up that which is meant to bring you to life.

~     ~     ~

this year, i will take some new and dangerous steps in pursuit of intimacy. i hope those of you who agree with the heart of this post will pray & hope for the best possible results. i welcome your encouragement, especially in anticipation of my own discouragement. i need you.

thank you for reading.

EDIT: the title is meant as an anti-apology for the way i approach friendship. i will apologize profusely and with humility for any mistakes i make along the way, with acute awareness of my fallibility, especially during that which we call the "learning process." but i will neither apologize for nor defend my ideal (it can defend itself). it is not only Design; it is my revealed core, and it critiques people, not the other way around.

lastly: when i say intimacy is a pursuit of mine, i don't mean only for me. i also pursue intimacy between others. more on that later.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

residency

Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM

hi family.

thank you for hosting me. i feel overwhelmed with gratitude at having a place waiting for me, within hours of my need arising; and not just prepared, but filled with genuine love. for the past two months or so, i haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time, and those three hours were of poor quality. but the first night i stayed with you i slept 6 hours uninterrupted, and felt so rested the next day, even despite my illness. it's more and more clear to me how much i need you in my life.

my plan right now is to get a storage unit for all of my stuff, and to keep only the essentials with me at your place. i'm searching for an apartment & roommate[s], but i don't know when i'll be able to find what's right for me. if all of you approve, i will stay with you not later than June.

i have an important trip planned at the end of June, and would like to keep saving as much money as i can until then, because it will be expensive. but, i would also like to pay rent, because i eat lots of food and use lots of hot water and electricity, and take up a lot of space that you would normally have to yourselves... etc. whatever amount you ask for is what i'll pay. i'll probably write you a first check today whether we talk before then or not.

so, recap: i would like permission to stay with you until June, and i would like to find out what my financial contribution should be. (i would also like to be given some chores i can do regularly.)

thank you again from my heart.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

freedoms

i am grateful for invitations to express myself in person. though not all isn't shti, i should shtill dwell with thankfulnesh on those freedoms which yet remain mine. so, gratitude where due (that's you, elmadu), and may that grattitude help to keep me breathing until i am done swimming... across the ocean