Dé Sathairn, Aibreán 30, 2005

The edge of the World

I have the desire to write, though again I'm not sure what the subject should be. So please excuse me if it seems that I'm rambling for a while. The past several weeks have been a flurrie of activity. Finishing projects, packing, cleaning, preparing, classes, parties, it's been hard to get a few waking moments just to sit and think. But now I sit in my room, alone in my house, playing the music loudly so the sound fills the room, if not the house. The list of things to do before graduation is quickly waning away to nothing. Only a few more items remain, and I find myself inadvertently suspending them. Not wanting to go to bed, in hopes that the day won't end and tomorrow will be delayed in coming. Trying to hold to the last few precious moments that I have to spend here at college with my friends.

I sit here and think of all that I'm leaving behind, but what about the future. I stand at the edge of the world, and for once the darkness lifts. I don't see it clearly, but...there before my eyes is the trailhead. It winds off into the distance, into the rocks and forest. I can see a ways a head of me, but the trail vears off, and I loose it in the trees as the haze once more envelops it. It's not much, and I don 't think I'll ever see more of my future than that, but it's enough.

I wrote a few days ago about how some times in our lives we just have to jump. I don't know what all of you thought about that. You may be saying to yourself that, no you are able to thing about everything before you make a decision. You may be like that, and never make a rash decision about anything. Maybe you can make it through life and feel completly confident in everything you do because, you thought about it before it happened. I stand here and tell you, I've thought about this point in my life for 5 years. I am about to complet my current task, and soon will be given another one to undertake. It's not about the decisions that I've made to get me to this point, it's about the next decision that I have to make. Do I stay where it's safe? Or do I jump in to the maw that is before me. It's cold, hazy if not dark at times, it's lonly. When you hike, it's the first step that is the most adventurous, the most perilous. With the first step, you lose control of your life. The planing stops, the training stops, and you have only what you know and what you are able to carry with you.

The theory of my life is about to end. The practice is about to start. The great experiment, that will prove to be my defining trial. Sure there are times when you return to the books for more research, but never like this. So I stand at the edge of the world, holding to what I know, to my memories, and training. I stare across the vast expance that is my life and smile, chuckle to myself, and Jump...


Dé Luain, Aibreán 25, 2005

The right question to ask

(I started this before my last post)
After a brief hiatus I think I'm ready to write again. I could have writen last week, but the subjects seemed to be of a very personal nature, and as I once promised Bryan Young, I'm not going to write on those sorts of things. I do this both for my gain and your's. I don't want my overly personal details posted on the internet, and I'm sure that you don't want to read them.

So what do I write about? I thought about writing on the Phantom of the Opera and how his character is really one of the most lovable villains ever conceived. You really can't help but feel bad for him. But no not that.

I've actually been thinking a lot about a conversation I had with a very good friend of mine a little over a year ago. Through the course of the conversation, which I won't get into, we can to the point in decribing ourselves. I made some comment concerning "why not," and she stop and said, "That's the difference between us. You think in 'why not's' and I think in terms of 'why." I've thought about that a lot since that evening. At first I honestly took it as something that I was doing wrong, but I've come to realize the opposite. She was right, as she normally tends to be. I do think in terms of "why not." George Bernard Shaw wrote in his play "Back to Methuselah," "You see things; and you say 'why?' But I dream things and say, 'why not?" Now I'm not about to say that I'm more of a dreamer than my dear friend (I'm most certainly not), but I do dream differently. I argue here for my own sake, for my own piece of mind. There are times in our lives when the only reason for doing somthing is because I don't have a reason not to do it. You could argue then that this really is the reason why I do it, but thats not how I would term it. I do a decent amount of hiking and traveling, and I've done a lot of things. When you're standing on the banks of the Rio Frio in the semi-wilderness of the Dominican Republic you find the question rolling around in your mind. Not consciously, but it's still there. When you think back it's there, just before you leap its there. You don't have a reason to be there, there's no reason any one would ever want to leave the city, to leave society, to leave the thing's we know and go off into the wilderness. So you jump, not because you have a reason to, but because you don't. You don't have a reason to leap blindly into the freazing cold water, such an oddity in the tropical climate.

So what am I saying? Am I right or is my friend right? Personally, I think we're both right. Sometimes you need a dead on reason to do somthing, and other times...you just have to jump.


Déardaoin, Aibreán 21, 2005

Messy Christianity

One of my best friends here on campus is Josh Morton, you'll find a link to his cite off to the right here. I highly suggest that you read his most recent blog on "quitting Christianity." This is a topic that we talk about often here, what it means to be a Christian and where we as Christian's are going awry. Reading through it all I could do was nod my head in agreement. Both Josh and myself have grown up in in the church and both of us to differing degrees have been hurt or dissolutioned by the entity that we love. Someone who is, I'm assuming, Josh's friend made a comment, citing James 4:11-12. This text basically says that you should not slander you brothers (fellow Christians) and that you should not judge against the law because you are then are not keeping the law. My friend I don't think that you reading the blog as carefully as you could. We are simply stating the discrepancies we see in the church today. We are a hypocritical people and I'm sure josh would echo me here, we include ourselves in it. We don't want to, but we have to. There is no judgment being spoken here, just a simple statement of what is happening. And no it's not everyone, and we know that as well. But I'm with Josh on this one. If I can't walk into a bar, have a drink, and start a conversation with someone just so I can ask them if they'd like to come to church with me on Sunday or Saturday night, and I can't still call myself a Christian while I do it. Then fine, I'm not a Christian, and I'm ok with that. Christianity is not the religion, it's not the legality, it's the relationship, and how dare you say that I can be a Christian and be in a bar at the same time. If I am to be judged for being real in my life, God will judge me. I believe that there is a God, and I believe that He is the God, but sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact.

Besides all that, I want the chance to stand up and say, "I feel like crap today. I'm not happy, I don't want to be happy, and no amount of devotions will make me feel happy. In fact, reading the Bible today makes my head hurt." I don't understand why being a Christian makes people feel like they have to be super human. The have to be stoic in their happiness. Because if you aren't happy then you are defiantly not doing something right. "Here let me pray for you, that the evil spirit of unhappiness will leave you, and the bla bla bla." Last time I checked, the Bible said nothing about being happy all the time. It never says that I won't be angry, tempted, melancholic, or depressed. It never says that I'll be happy all the time, that life will be cherries and roses, and sweet candy gum-drops. Anyone who thinks so needs to spend some more time out of there house dealing with everyday people, and stop inserting their own ideas into the text. I love life, I love the chances and opportunities that I have and will have, but I know better than to think that everything will always be nice and happy. It's called joy my friends, and peace. Faith, hope and love. Happiness is a component of all of these, but not a requirement. Faith and hope indicate that things may not be going the way we would like them to go. We are told to be ready to face trial of may kind (James). Back to my original statement, we were created to have the full range of emotion. We didn't become angry, melancholic, or depressed at the fall. The ability was always there to have a bad day, we're just more likely to have them now. Emotion is not sin, though I believe suppressing them may be. We are told to not let the Sun go down on our anger, not to not get angry. We are emotional people, we were created that way, and that is why I think to suppress them is a sin against the one who created us.

So Morton, are we leaving Christianity behind? In away, yes, but then again maybe we are just striving to become the Christian's we are supposed to be. Maybe it is our lot in life to show those who have stopped believing in Christian that there is more to it than what they where shown. Gandhi once said that Christianity would be wonderful, if it weren't for all of the Christian's. I think he had a good point, maybe it's time to start listening to the fallen world around us and realize that maybe we're as broken as they are.


Dé Luain, Aibreán 11, 2005

Turning the Page

By the time I post this I will be safely back home in my apartment on campus, but as I sit here typing I’m amongst friends. Most of who are asleep or close to it. Conversations haven’t quite lulled but the ones that are let are of a nature that a third party would not be appropriate. So I sit here in a rocking van, rolling westbound down I-94, and pondering the events of an emotional roller coaster. So far I’ve pondered these things to the tune of Nickel Creek, set to write them down to the now famous “Dragostea Din Tea” (Numa numa) by O-zone, and now writing to a bit of lite jazz, courtesy of Miss Jane Monheit. This was a chorale weekend, and so sleep is well deserved, but for me it was more. It was my last chorale weekend. This was my last concert, my last chance to do it right, to do it with my all of my heart. This was my last chance to ware the tux, and sing with this group. It’s a mix of emotion, I’m happy to be rolling back to campus, but in the same way I wish we could turn around and head out on tour again.
My reason for righting this isn’t really for the benefit of my foreign readers, but for more for my friends who keep tabs on me this way. I own you all so much. I expressed to a friend at the conclusion of our concert that my tears were not necessarily for Prof, though some of them most defiantly were, but for a grand mix of people and traditions that I will be leaving behind me after the next three weeks. I plan to keep in touch, and I hope you do as well, but it will never be the same. It is a great thing to know that you are loved. As friend after friend sought me out after the concert, and I tried desperately to hold back the tears that welled up in my eyes, I knew that I was loved. Which makes the parting even harder. I love you all, though I often show it in the oddest ways, and will never forget you. For those who have gone before me, thank you for your time, hours spent talking into the wee hours of the morning. You’ve helped me ask the questions that I needed to ask and find the answers in the right place. To you I am eternally grateful, you filled my time with memories that will stay with me until I die. You pushed me, kept me on track, inspired me, enlightened me, and supported me. I love you all and pray that God is blessing you where you are right now.

To my friends I am about to leave…there are no words for what you mean to me. In the past two years you have been my smile when I have had none, my comfort when there was none, my sanity when my world was failing all around, my laughter when I could not, my strength when I could not stand on my own. I meant it when I said that you’ve become my family. There are so many things I want to say to you, and in the next three weeks I know I will find the time to say them. You’ve been my joy, and now you are my reason for sorrow. Morty, you’ve been my company this year that I could not have lived with out. Jones you’ve kept my sense of humor in a very sick, corrupted sort of way. Yankey, you’ve been the spark of innocence that I could only strive to obtain. Do not strive to be like me, it’s not a place I would want to see you, instead I should be striving to be like you. Aeron, you’ve been a smile in my life, and I own you more than the sarcasm that you all too often get from me. Bryan, you’ve been a sense of release for my stress, an outlet for my wit, and a comrade in the finer things of life. Erica, even though you graduated last year, I include here because our friendship has grown to be something I depend on. Even though you’re half a world away you’ve become my confidant and one of my greatest friends and allies. And you’re sister did me an honor by putting me on that list, not a disservice. Liz, though we haven’t seen each other in three years, our conversations this year have been bright spots in my day/even/night/late night. I treasure our conversations and while I don’t believe it will happen any time in the near future, I do hope to see you again soon. Finally Allison. What you’ve been to me there is no word for in the English language. The things we’ve talked about, the problems we’ve discussed, the council that you’ve given. In my distress you’ve given me you ears, in my tears you’ve given me you’re shoulder, in my blindness you’re eyes, for my lose you’re observation. You’ve been the friend I’ve longed for. The debt I have to the school doesn’t even measure next to the debt of gratitude I’ve amassed with you. I will be less nest year without you. I will be less next year with out all of you. But as Prof has said, the page is turning. This chapter of my life is almost over, and the rest of my life a waits me elsewhere in this world. And far or near I must run to meet it.

I will say all this an more to you before I graduate, but I wanted to write it here to make public the debt that I have with you. A debt irreparable and which I will carry with joy. Thank you will never suffice but non the less, thank you. This day could not have been any better. An amazing van load of people (Morty, Steph, Yank, Allison, Byan, Jones, Kent, Scott...love you guys) singing, laughing, and just having fun on a long drive home. Forever, thank you.

Dé Luain, Aibreán 04, 2005

Somethings missing

I have the distinct feeling that I'm missing something. The conversations I've had today have varied quite a bit. Most of them with one of my best friends. I'm working with her on her final sermon, helping develop ideas for what will take place, and the music that will be done. The group was only semi-productive to say the least though I believe that we did accomplish everything that we set out to do. I think. We've got music, we've got set up, we've got production, she's got the sermon and I think we're ready to go. Conversations with other friends on the future, mainly mine since I'm graduating and people want to know what's up with me. Then there was the completly theological conversation that I had with the original friend that is for mentioned here. A really good conversation on the voice of God and whether or not we can actually perceive it, whether or not it's our fault. Is God really silent? Personally it sounds like a really good paper to write and discuss later on. Chance of me doing that...zero. Not any time soon anyway. It may make a good sermon, though most of the theory would have to find hard fact and scripture referance first. Good conversations, Good day. Actually I think I'll pose that question to you. Is God really silent? What's your proof? Is it possible that when you believed God to be silent you simply weren't asking the right question, or listening to the right responce? Could it have been your fault that you didn't here God at that point in your life?

But still it feels like something is missing. I'm not sure what. So much has happened in the past three days, something could have slipped through the cracks. The Pope has died, and many of my Roman Catholic bretheren around the world are without an earthly leader. I'm not Catholic, but still it is a great loss. Many will now be searching for that leader. I only hope that the right man will be found to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Terry Shaivo has died, and still the on going legal battles are of captial importance in our country. Do we have the right to death? Do we have the right to Life? Should the government be involved in these matters? On a personal note I believe that Shaivo had a right to die. Though I am sickened by the manner in which it took place. We fight to save starving people all over the world, many of whom are on the last breath and just waiting to die, yet we will let Mrs. Shaive die in this manner. Do I think she wanted to die? That I can't answer, I know I would rather have died peacefully and with out pictures of my wasted form plastered all over national television. But still something is missing.

I just don't know. It feels like there's more, and I guess that there will always be more in a sense, but that doesn't resolve my problem. Maybe I'll find it in sleep tonight, or maybe like we talked earlier, silence is the only answer.