Leaving everything behind

I was going to journal tonight, but instead I talked to Laura. It was a much better alternative. [<9!] We talked about books and debated over the lyrics of “Another White Dash” by Butterfly Boucher. She quoted to me a paragraph from the book she’s reading, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit:

The mystic Simone Weil wrote to a friend on another continent, “Let us love this distance, which is thoroughly woven with friendship, since those who do not love each other are not separated.” For Weil, love is the atmosphere that fills and colors the distance between herself and her friend. Even when that friend arrives on the doorstep, something remains impossibly remote: when you step forward to embrace them your arms are wrapped in mystery, around the unknowable, around which that cannot be possessed. The far seeps in even to the nearest. After all we hardly know our own depths.

…so I absolutely must read it, because that is simply fascinating. You cannot miss someone unless you have loved them. We also talked about dehoarding, and how this summer we’re both doing quite a bit of it, and making progress. It’s good. It’s amazing the things you can throw away when you realize they just don’t matter anymore.

There is something exciting
about leaving everything behind
There is something deep and pulling
leaving everything behind
Something about having everything
you think you’ll ever need
sitting in the seat next to you

“Another White Dash”

Serenity

After a trying day, I fled to the land reserve near our house. I sat on a rock at the base of a cliff, overlooking a meadow of swaying grasses, enclosed by the silhouette of a scrubby tree-line. A pair of hawks glided overhead in the darkening blue, spiraling in lazy arabesques. As I watched them, I envied their serenity, and the serenity of the land, as the cool gray twilight covered the earth with its mist, inviting you as you are; blurring away your imperfections with the last fingers of sunlight. I watched them, wrestling with my own uncertainties and insecurities, coming to no conclusion, only that the birds were lovely in their dance, and that I hope to someday dance so gracefully.

My wanderlust has set in with some intensity. It comes spontaneously, and over the past year I would jump in my car and drive to Dallas, or hop on a plane to Albuquerque, without much warning or telling anyone. Now with airfare as it is, I’m planning to go to Albuquerque in September when it’s cheaper, and Laura is no longer in Dallas. Yet the need for escape remains. The three day weekend of next week’s holiday comes with perfect timing, but I have no destination. “Anywhere but here” is where, this time? I’ve gotta get out of this town, if only for a couple days. Still thinking. Maybe I’ll just get in my car and drive…

In lieu of serious Thoughts

Wow. I just finished a full 40-hour work week. This isn’t necessarily a new thing: I worked 40 (or more, some weeks) hour weeks the past year, but they weren’t all at the same job. In the same building. Corporate offices. Neh. I’m glad to have a job, but I’m also glad this isn’t my career. I’d like more variety.

What I like about Texas clouds is that they are big and fluffy and you can find all sorts of shapes in them. I’ve seen a turtle, snail, dove, and an elephant. The elephant made me smile because it reminded me of Horton from Horton Hears a Who. Hee. Then it disintegrated and I’m not sure what it was.

My parents and Alex are going to Buffalo, NY this Fourth of July without me. They’re taking Alex to see Niagara Falls. Hmph. I have a three-day weekend… so where should I go? Suggestions?

I had Serious Thoughts about my Bible reading this morning, but insomnia two nights in a row has so greatly diminished my coherency faculties that sharing such thoughts is not possible. Instead, because my parents had to use my credit card to buy their plane tickets (<insert confusion here>), they’re taking me out for Mexican food. Yay.

Imperfect

Borrowed from Amber:

Someone forgot to put that on my desk this week. Today, however has gone from worse to better. Even though I got very little sleep, work went by quickly. I’m starting to relax there, too; starting to laugh. It was a good day.

Ever since I memorized 1 Corinthians 13, I’ve been working my way through the list of what love is and isn’t. Next on this list is, “love is not self-seeking.”1 That lesson could have come a bit earlier, but now is as good a time as any. Also next on the list is, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,” from 1 John 4:18. I know it may seem like I’m once again holding myself to an impossible standard. But as Christians, we are. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), which I’ve always interpreted as “become perfect, be moving toward perfection.” We’ll never reach it, but the more we grow, the more we strive to simulate Christ, the closer we should move toward that goal. It takes conscious effort, and it’s gradual. It’s an imperfect process toward a hoped-for perfect result.

Paging through my journal to find my thoughts on these topics, I came across this [a response to a passage from The Painted Veil]:

Humans have the potential to do both great good and great evil, but we also have the propensity for selfishness. As a result, this world is a crazy, chaotic place. What makes life beautiful, worth living, are the relationships we form that serve as anchors in this raging sea. The beauty in a smile, a glance, laughter between friends. It is the mundanity of life that makes the great deeds of heroes valuable.

I still have thoughts regarding the Beggarman and Charity. Maybe they’ll eventually show up here. Maybe I need to mull on them a bit longer. All this mental energy spent on imperfection brings to mind Canon in B Minor, of which there is more of the story to be told. Perhaps Masters Russell and Edwards will inspire me to tell the rest of their story.


1 By no means does this mean the previous items on the list have been mastered. This, too, is an ongoing process.

You

Whenever I see a car that looks like yours, I look twice, and then chide myself for looking. I miss our unbidden, sacred meetings in your room. I would lie on the bed, you would stand in the doorway, and you would sit in your chair. I miss the sunny days and skies as pale as your eyes. I miss reading together in silence. I miss making dinner for you, and sitting on the couch with a cup of tea. I miss trading glances with each other and the clock. I miss sitting through all the credits. I miss taking walks with you. I miss…

I struggle with seeing my time here as long enough to make connections and with seeing it merely as limbo. Two and a half months. Am I simply biding my time? Or will I live here, too? I am trying, I am putting forth the effort. Yet at the beginning it is hard to see if your effort is worth it, especially when you remember something that was. I also cannot see what is coming; my eyes are fixed on the present. Each day is a lifetime, a breath, a paradox and soon I’ll be waking from this sleep to find myself in another dream.

‘The only constant is change., <<In six months, everything will be different.>> :There is always tomorrow.: 1

What would my life be without books? Last night at Bible study, I brought up the debate on the licitness of laughter from The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson has got gears turning in the back of my head whenever I read a news article. As I’ve listened to Sara Groves at work, typing and typing various documents, I’ve been connecting the discussion on Charity in The Four Loves with the Beggarman from The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. [Unfortunately, there is only one person I know who has read both of these books, and she hasn’t done so recently. :P]

“I am, you know the Beggarman,” he said to the old man, as he had said to Dr. Kimoe on the Mindful. “I could not bring money, we do not use it. I could not bring gifts, we use nothing that you lack. So I come, like a good Odonian, ‘with empty hands.'”
–The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin

“We come with beautiful secrets.” —Sara Groves



1
Various styles of quotations are in tribute to, “Usually, in telepathic speech…”

Shameless plugs

To my wonderful readers, faithful and few, check out these posts by fellow bloggers. They’ve been quiet for a while… are they making a comeback? I hope so!

Oh yes, you did laugh! – by Anna at deepsoil

“But we Americans, we’re not very good at waiting for things, so if we want asparagus in January, then we’ll run to the supermarket and get some, never mind that it’s been shipped from who knows where with who knows how much gasoline involved. We want to have it our way, right now, and if we can’t get it one way, we’ll get it another.

Sort of reminds me of Sarah in Genesis, not long before our Old Testament reading today…”

Responsibilities – by Danielle at Modern-day Mystic

“After giving her my opinion in as much gracious love as possible she responded with, ‘but you can’t help who you love.’ To be honest I was blown away by such a ridiculous statement. In one of the most important matters of life it seems my generation is content to abdicate all responsibility, trusting to fate or a whim or who knows what else.”

A drop in the ocean

UN classifies rape as a ‘war tactic’

Huzzah! It’s a step in the right direction. I don’t even know how many petitions and letters over the past… well over a year, I’ve signed to get that passed.

A difference in perspective: on our way home from dinner, I was driving so we were listening to NPR, and the announcer was highlighting various news stories. After one about gas prices and the current state of the U.S. economy, my mom said, “Well that’s annoying.” Meanwhile, I was inwardly seething that the present administration, which has so verbally committed itself to the promotion of democracy, seemed to be doing little to promote democracy in Zimbabwe, when Mugabe is clearly going against the democratic process by vowing that the opposition would not win the run-off, charging the opposition with treason, and already announcing that there would be “war” if the opposition did win. I held my tongue, for a variety of reasons. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

My copy of Utopia by Thomas More has a sunflower on it. I took it out to read a quote from it to Brittn and now it’s on my desk. I want to reread it… Such a good book.

Sundry

I think I’m finally getting used to being back in South Texas. The fact that it’s going to get to 101 F, that there’s 80% humidity despite that it hasn’t rained for weeks and probably isn’t going to rain anytime soon, is becoming normal again. Stunningly blue skies. Sunsets like fireballs and huge full moons suspended on invisible strings. There’s a park/land reserve near our house. Walking through the scrubby desert landscape felt like releasing a long sigh. Knee-high grasses, rocks underfoot, live oak trees that don’t get taller than the phone lines, cacti, cacti, and more cacti. And sunflowers everywhere! That’s my favorite part. I used to consider South Texas ugly, but now that it is familiar, it is welcome. I’ll miss the birds of Oklahoma, but there are deer here, and I can identify most of the wildflowers by name.

New job this week: getting used to working near-full time again. 8:30-5:30, I hit rush hour traffic both ways. Corporate offices are one of the most bizarre things we humans have come up with, I think.

Choir rehearsal was last night. The librarian was glad to hand me my new folder, and apparently she had gotten it mixed up and was telling people I was going to Oxford for my masters. Oops. Well, it’ll get ironed out eventually. Not a big deal. I’m already planning on skipping the July 6 service because it’ll be “Patriotic Sunday.” I could barely sing “America the Beautiful” in rehearsal, I know I won’t be able to sing it for real. Though oddly enough I had great fun going through the military anthems: “and the caissons go rolling along!” and “Anchors aweigh my boys” and “Off we go, into the wild blue yonder!” and “From the halls of Montezuma to the hills of Tripoli…” I have no problem at all singing praises to an entity that deserves it (i.e. God), but I’ve studied U.S. history, I’m not a fan of manifest destiny, and we’re fallible nation like any other. The military songs are about going off and being brave and honorable–I can support that, but “alabaster cities gleam”? Come on!

Anyways, off to finish getting ready for work.

Sci-fi Meme!

Because my last two posts have been Much Too Serious.

Fandom
Favorite SF shows: Firefly, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise (Seasons 1-3)
Favorite SF films: Serenity, Star Trek: First Contact, Gattica, Star Wars
Favorite SF books: The Sparrow, Left Hand of Darkness or The Dispossessed, Ender’s Game, Dune
Favorite SF ships/pairings: Simon/Kaylee

Misc
Favorite constellation, planet, or moon in our solar system: Orion, the Summer Triangle, Venus, Europa
Favorite planet in a fandom: Annares/Urras, Vega Terra
Favorite alien/alien race in a fandom: The Runa and Jana’ata, or the Hainish, the Shinrá
Favorite spacecraft in a fandom: Serenity, Artemis
Time travel or space travel?: Space travel

THE VERY SRS FINAL QUESTION
Star Trek or Star Wars?: Star Trek–exploration!