Saturday, November 14, 2009

population: two-face

at some point in elementary school we were normal. you liked playing dodgeball and i liked pizza day in the cafeteria.

yet somewhere in the middle of everything, of adolescance and summer camp, and the internet, here we are sitting in this smokey room wearing our peasant shirts trying to recreate that "feel" that "vibe", playing exotic instruments and drinking brands of coffee our tongues studder to pronounce.

we laugh at the other girls trying to recreate the same thing we are with smokey eye shadow, and the boys with black coffee.

i forgot how uncool sugar was.

its happened to many of us across the globe, each one standing and defying "their convention" by standing for something, yet none of us standing for the same thing, and those that do, not standing together.

really it stopped being about the cause (if it ever was) and more about the concept.
we want our parents to be wrong so much...

its the concept we're passionate about. remember that "idea", that "essence" we tried so hard to grasp at the coffee shop downtown?

meanwhile the boots are getting more expensive
and the caffiene headaches more common

and now you've met this girl who sits next to you in your philosophy class.....

her hair is dyed too much or not enough
its in the middle of those naturalistic and expressionism extremes you cherish.
you can tell when she smiles her parents paid for the dental work....

and she can enjoy a chick flick just like your avante garde independent films from yesterday
and she listens to electric guitars on the radio as religiously as you churn out those acoustic sets
and she wears nail polish and clothes from the gap
and eats meat
and is only taking this class for the credits (but she likes it anyway)
and doesn't define herself by her "aesthetic"
and by golly she's probably the most GENUINE person you think you've ever met.....

so far everything has been a black and white portrait in your head and for some reason her color photo face won't fit in your album.

whats wrong with you? suspenders too tight?

you would, but you won't, you could, but you can't, you should, but you shall not.........

congratulations, you've now proven that true love and marital bliss can't happen.
not because it doesn't happen
or because it doesn't exist
but you won't let go of that "concept" you've been in love with so long.

welcome to thriftstore superiority.

Friday, October 30, 2009


i've been thinking a lot about prayer lately.

scenario: lets say a woman gets cancer. her family puts her on the prayer list at church. word spreads through families and she gets put on a few other church prayer lists.

she recovers.
some would say our prayers were "answered." i disagree with this phraseology, as no matter what, God answers prayer. its just in this scenario He answered 'yes'. If He had said 'no', or 'wait', the prayers would still be answered, just not in the way that those who prayed wanted them to be.

So the woman gets well, God said 'yes' to the prayers of 'please heal her.'

Did the amount of prayers make a difference?
if there had been less people praying, only one church, just her family, just her? would she not have been healed?

if no one prays for something does good not get done? i think we're obviously not the ones who chooses who gets healed and who gets fed and whatnot.

so if its not up to us
and God has a plan
then what is it that our prayers are swaying?

one thing i do know is that the act of prayer develops the relationship between God and man. its not just a 'can i have this, can you do that?' situation. it can become like venting to a friend. getting advice from a father. when we pray for God's provision and protection we are placing all of ourselves in His hands to maneuver at His will.

so if thats why we pray, then asking God to heal the woman with cancer is placing our trust in Him that His decisions and actions will be good, and better than any other beings decisions and actions on the planet.

So why do multiple people have to do this?

The reason why ive been thinking about this is a little silly. my dog went missing last week, sirius. i miss him so much and have been praying a lot that he is okay and that God would lead him home. it really does sound silly but you have to understand, i love my dog.

it occured to me the other day, that i have prayed more for the return of my puppy then i have for....
oh, people i've known who are lost
people i've known who are hurt
people i've known who are sick

the hungry, the poor, the oppressed that i claim to care so much about.

obviously if i were to pray about every issue on the planet i would never cease to pray

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

im not saying that every second of our consciousness should be active prayer. but its not that inconceivable that every moment we could be in communication with God.

we've put an ad in the paper, we're checking the pound, and the street clean up crew in case he's been hit by a car. i post descriptions of him on facebook and myspace. every night before i go to bed i call his name out hoping he's somewhere near and will respond. when i drive home i go different routes so i can look for him.
how hard do i search for those lost? do i call out their name, calling them home? do i try to find them through any means necessary? do i devise such plans as these?

ive prayed that sirius comes home a lot. does the amount of my prayer change anything?
am i lacking in faith because i'm scared ill never see him again?
even though i know that just because God doesn't say yes doesn't mean He doesn't answer.
is God saying no?
is He asking me to wait?

just because not getting him back isn't what i want, doesn't mean that for some reason its not whats best.

whatever God's decision, i accept it.

what do my prayers mean?
i don't know.
but that doesn't mean ill stop.
if anything ill pray harder, because you can't find out what something means by stopping it. you have to experience it over and over, deeper and deeper. things will never be real to you if you just set them aside.

but for real? im not going to stop praying for my dog, but i should start praying for people more. see what fruit that yields. and throw myself harder into helping others.

throw yourself in harder until you know what it means.

i don't think that prayer would grow bad fruit do you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

peace and social justice rant

here are the words i'm tired of hearing

human condition
human nature
american dream

yaddah. yaddah. yaddah.

these are words that intellectual groups who favor topics of humanitarianism like to toss around, when in the end all discussion is non-conclusive.

so i guess i'm tired of no conclusions.

i can not tell you how much i've had this conversation.

that human kind could live in harmony but we don't. because we do produce enough food to end world hunger, but we keep it for ourselves. that there are enough resources to support everyone on this planet, but we don't because we're selfish and want everything for ourselves. (especially since we're american, as if some parts of europe aren't just as bad) that its the human condition to want everything we can get, that materialsim is standing in our way because of the american dream, and the fifties philosophy of keeping up with the joneses.
that we could make things better, but we don't.
so then it becomes applaudable to live like gandhi, in chosen poverty, and self sufficiency.
things like driving suvs and buying new computers become a sin.

so in the name of world harmony and such, we ought to ride our bikes, and be content with library books, and buy our vegetables from local farmers, and take in excess stuff we don't need.

but heres the thing, i agree! if there is a lifestyle change that you can make that in your mind would make the world a better place by all means do it! if you're concerned about the environment, recycle and use public transportation. if you're concerned about world hunger don't buy as much food and donate the extra cash to organizations that can help that issue. if you hate killing animals for their skins wear only natural fibers. do it, by all means don't be afraid to make that change.

its not the changes im tired of, i find them refreshing.

its the same conversation over and over.

it always comes down to, we can't save the world, but we can pretend like we are.

i disagree, i think we can do a lot, i just think we're too happy to sit in our conversations talking about how the problem can't be helped, so then we feel like martyrs or something for living with these "sacrifices" (which by the way aren't really sacrifices, are really easy changes to make in ones life) but ho hum, because of the "human condition" its all futile.

i guess im tired of sitting around and not doing anything tangible. i want to help people in a way i can see, not in a way that defines me in some circles as a person who tries. because then social justice is just another fashion trend.

look at me, i wear hemp, im popular.


i don't actually wear hemp, and no offense to people who do, im using it to make a point.

im changing my major to "get off your ass and do something about it"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

a review of sorts

So I had a good chunk of time to kill on Friday and spent the greater part of it at Barnes and Noble. I picked up a book called "The Unlikely Deciple" by Kevin Roose. Basically the author was a college student at Brown University, one known for its partying and liberal lifestyle. He decided, as a journalist, that he wanted to know more about the evangelical christian community. Kevin decides to transfer to Liberity, a Baptist college known as "bible boot camp", for one semester. He attends as if he shared the same beliefs as all of those around him: a kind of seeing them in their natural habitat. I've only read the book to page 93 so far, but i fully intend upon finishing it. So far in my reading i've developed a deep respect for this person. He went into a place completely out of his element and comfort zone, and immersed himself in a culture that went against many of the things that he was brought up to defend such as homosexuality and abortion rights. So far he's made some good observations, not all of them positive, but nonetheless accurate in my mind.

One particular observation was one that had never occured to me, but i was glad he made it. He said that one question that seemed to get thrown around often in the evangelical circles was "how is your spiritual life?" Indeed for him it was a little disconcerting, especially since it wasn't just good friends that would ask, it was people he would barely know. The question was a personal one, and would involve a following of more detailed questions such as "how often are you reading your bible" and others picking at the minor details. However Roose concluded that in a religion where the belief was that if you didn't grow in your faith you could lose it, and that meant going to hell or at the very least not going to heaven, when they asked you about your spiritual life it meant that they cared. They wanted to make sure you were safe.

It reminded me of a documentary i once saw on the amish runspringa, or the time when amish youths were allowed to go into the world and decide if they wanted to continue the amish life style. If a youth chose the amish lifestyle, but then went outside of it, that was seen as breaking a promise and could result in the amish community shunning them. While this would seem as a heartless or cold reaction, the truth as one youth put it was that this was their last method to show you the gravity of what you were doing, and they did it because they loved you and didn't want you to go to hell.

This makes me think that love, real love, is not socially acceptable. Love is not polite, it is awkward, and invades the privacy of an individual. However as i was reading this novel i couldn't help but think, "WHY WAS THIS NECESSARY?"

Do you realize that this man had to INFILTRATE the evangelical community? This makes the Kingdom less of a community, and more of a fortress. Have we been put on a pedestal? Are personal relationships not even plausible?

I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around you know? Paul said that when he traveled, he became all things to all people so that he might save some. To me that sounds like a christian going into the secular community and building relationships, not the other way around. Jesus himself said that the kingdom of heaven was like yeast working its way through the dough. To me that also sounds like the christian community spreading themselves througout the secular world, not making themselves a completely separate loaf of bread.

Its a truly good book and i suggest it highly, however i'm not sure i'm happy that it exists. It shouldn't have needed to be developed. I understand that the belief in absolute truth is one often considered to be oppressive, and thusly pushed out of most social circles, but we shouldn't give up and separate ourselves. And when you think about it, socially unacceptable meant death by stoning for the early christians, yet they managed to convert kings. Whose lives are we touching? Is it the journalist who snuck into our barracks?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

on angels and demons

so i was watching a movie the other day where the villain was a man who had lost everything; his family, his friends, his home. his pain was great, so who he became was a great pain inflicter. he wanted others to feel the same pain he had endured, especially if they were someone who connected to the pain, or if he blamed them at all. so, when i come across a person who inflicts great pain on others, i have to think "what have they gone through/ are they going through to make them so vindictive?" i never believed in bad people (and i fear saying that to people thinking so many will automatically retort "so you think (insert facist dictator/murderer/rapist here) is a good person?" or even more will just think me naive). i believe in broken people, and even more broken people. when it comes to others, every fiery arrow of the evil one they hit you with is another fiery arrow the evil one hit them with. so what of myself? what of my demons? do i hurl the arrows hurled at me? by man or demon? this is what i think. if i let my demons be who i am, let them affect how i treat others, i'm no better than the demons who hurt me to start with. i could make the excuse that i'm only human but that diminishes what humanity is. if humanity were meant to settle in its imperfection we would be demons instead, because when you settle in a rut you wear it down deeper, and what does a demon do but cultivate pain? so what is the alternative then? only to live for Christ, as Christ, with love and utter humility and selflessness. because if my demons are who i am then living for others ceases to be living for those demons. but if i am not defined by whats wrong with me, then not living for those demons and doing right makes sense as well. i will not diminish humanity to demony by resigning myself to reflecting my pain on others and explaining that away by only being human. yet i will not claim angelicism. angels live better than humans, above them. instead i will accept being human and live as such, as was created loving others despite the taint of my demons. what makes us good, and gives us strength is refusing to inflict our pain upon others, even if they inflict theirs upon us, because i can not expect them to live beyond their demons and refuse resignation. and living for others makes us like Christ, and only God is truly good. in short: no matter what i've been through, i can still treat others with love. my demons are not who i am. no ones are. i will love others despite their demons. i will love others despite mine. Jesus did, and never demeaned another despite the torturous death He faced. even during that time He forgave the aggressors, and another in the same boat as He. i'm not a demon i'm not an angel i am human and i will live like one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

moving up

In the beginning there was xanga.

Or at least that was the beginning for me.

Xanga was how I dipped my toe into the social networking pool. It was my first blog, and believe it or not it still exists. I write in it once every six months or so anymore, and have a singular reader whose xanga I in turn read when she updates. However for the first few years I possossed it, it was writ in faithfully. Then myspace happened.

I didn't blog in myspace right away, but gradually it became a regular update. I still blog in it in fact, and don't think i'm liable to stop. I get quite a few reads per post, anywhere from 14 to 56. I see no reason to change that.

However I see blogging as one of the last forms of free speech. Plain words can be made into a federal case if "political correctness" is called into question, and while a piece of art expresses freely, only few will lay their eyes upon it. The press used to be a great method of getting word out to the masses, but now has turned into a machine of propaganda. The media only publishes what they want us to know, whay they want us to get riled about, and what they think will sell. Meanwhile what we want to say gets pushed aside, and important things we could be knowing are left unreported. It's no wonder the rest of the world thinks Americans to be ignorant. Blogging is a method of self-expression uninhibited and available for all to see.

Even though I already have a blog, this is my opportunity to state what I think and be heard by others outside of my circle of friends. The first step to peace is listening to one another.

So welcome to the ugly duckling diary.