Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tick Tock

This post is over a year in the making.  Having said that, don't expect it to be great.  I'm just done waiting for it be better before I write it. 
I've always wanted to write about time.  Time fascinates me.  It is cursed and blessed in the same breath.  It is the one constant in our life and instead of being thankful for this smigeon of stability we either want it to go faster or slow down.

This is what I love about time: it doesn't listen to our unfounded whims.  It continues to march on at the same pace no matter what our feelings are regarding it.  On some nights, when friends are happy, and I'm exhausted from dancing, and the world is full of rainbows and chocolate chip cookies, we beg for time to just pause.  Give us a breath to soak in life. 

Then there are the nights when the world is ending.  You have been smashed by life and being broken has become a way of existence.  All you want is to be able to catch a breath.  It is on nights like these that we are so grateful that the seconds keep ticking by because it means that at least something moves on and maybe we can too.

At this point of my life, the days are extremely long.  It might be a result of my tendency to be a night owl combined with 8 oclock classes so I really am awake for a good portion of the day or that there is so much to do and experience that it seems inconievable that everything fits into 24 hours.  Yet the weeks fly by.  I've finished the first three months of college but it feels like summer just ended yestersday.

The amazing people I have met. 
The oppurtunities that continue to amaze and excite me. 
Warm blankets and hot coffee. 
The friends and family that I have to come home to. 
Amazing roommates that make sure I don't accidently hurt myself beyond repair.
 A beautiful place to live and learn. 
A loving God who is constant and faithful. 
Peace from knowing I am His.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy every second of it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Feeble Attempt

I like quotes.  Mostly because they do what I never can.  They  take a thought, an idea, an emotion and turn it into a sentence or two.  It usually takes me more like a paragraph or two.  Sometimes I browse the web for quotes when its a rainy day out like today and nothing is really pressing on my shoulders right now and I need some new ideas to fill my brain with.  The one above is a good example of your typical internet quote.  It is decently nice.  It is also decently egotistical.  I browsed a bit down the comments about this one and one read:  "Don't you ever forget, You Are Perfect!" 

That's a really nice thought.  A really nice thought that's really false.  You aren't perfect.  I'm not perfect.  We never will be.  I don't even have a good proportion of doing things right to messing up.  In fact, I'd estimate that I mess up 8.48 times for every one time that I actually do something right.  But that's just a rough guess. 

I'm okay with that.  I want to do better in every area of my life but there is something to be said for imperfection.  It makes us vulnerable.  It tears down some of judgment walls if we would just realize that everyone is just as broken as we are and we are just a group of fallen people feebly trying to hold each other up while resting in the incredible grace of the God who created and saved us. 

It also makes the small perfections in life even more beautiful.  The innocence of children is even more precious, the sincere smile from a stranger even more encouraging. 

We are wonderfully made and known by name by an incredible God, yes.  Perfect we are not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Deafening Flood

I ordinarily have to force myself to get my western civilization reading done.  Today was no exception.  History will never excite me as much as its art, or learning about how we think, or even how to account for depreciation of assets.  Yet while trudging through the text today, I was reading about the Islamic infantry troops called Janissaries which consisted mostly of Christian boys that were recruited and raised to be Muslim and a part of elite military troops.  Which probably has a lot to be said about it but that's not what caught my attention.

 It was this line instead, "It was thought these troops would be extremely loyal to the sultan and the state because they owed their life and status to the sultan." 

How did they know that this status was so valuable that they would sacrifice their life to it?  Exactly how are powerful are the cultural standards that flood our vision and deafen our ears? Can they really convince us that there is some level we need to achieve and that it is worth every fiber of our being?

Yes.  They can and they will because they are sneaky.  No one hands you a slip of paper with rules and regulations for fitting in with this world.  Its not just from the magazines and TV and billboards all though those are certainly deserving of the criticism they receive for creating impossible ideals.  The thing is, those wouldn't exist if we didn't want them to.  They only work because we respond to them.  We want something to affirm us or deny us but either way give some stability of what is right. 

It doesn't have to be a negative thing.  We simply intrinsically gather information from the people and things around us to help us know what is valuable and true in this world.  Look around yourself.  What are your surroundings?  Who is around you?  They might not define you but they will create the definitions that you use to label yourself with.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


People-watching, the nice word for staring absently at everyone around you, is incredibly interesting and telling.  As much as I love to observe those who surround me, I also like to self-watch.  I try to separate the me that is aware of my surroundings and motivations and internal thoughts from my actual actions.  I pretend that I am someone else and observe what I do in given circumstances.  It's a bit bizare but rather revealing.

Major Observation #1:  My reactions to happinness and stress and sadness and anger in life are all exactly the same.  When my emotions go to any extremes I generally isolate myself through headphones or location and scribble madly on a notebook or type wildly into this blog.

Major Observation #2:  Even though I write just as much when I am experiencing negative emotions as the positive ones, I rarely share the more "downer" pieces.  Mostly becaue I feel that my other writings aren't as good and the world has enough hurt without me adding to it.  This being said, it isn't too hard to figure out when I'm having a splendid day (like today).  It's a bit more tricky the other way around unless you belong to the small group of people that can read me with scary accuracy.

Minor Observation #3:  I actually don't have a minor observation.  Or another major one.  I just felt that if I had major observations than I should have minor ones as well.  For balance's sake. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Living Life Differently

She never was content with doing the same thing the same way more than once.  After she mastered tying her shoes, she had to do it faster and then with her eyes closed.  If she could do a trick on her scooter using her right foot, then it must be completed with the left.  Anyone can walk through the house with in the daylight or with the lights on but not many people can master the steep stairs in pitch darkness.  But she could. 

The English language was far to straight-forward, she made up her own modes of communication.  The inanimate objects that surround us must serve some higher purpose, she assigned them personalities and goals and gave life to a weary world. 

This world could not contain her, logic and gravity had no claim on her soul.  There were infinite lands to be explored and infinite ideas to be born. 

This wasn't a hectic rush to break social norms but an intentional oblivion to society's restrictive ideas of how to live.  This wasn't being an individual just for the sake of standing out in the crowd but forgetting that the crowd existed.  This was forgetting that the wind tangled others' hair and that the sun warmed others' faces.  This was forgetting that the map of life already had boundaries etched into it and a compass pointing everyone in the same direction.  This was living life differently.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Cliches should be avoided like the plague.  If placed in a paper, they will be the death of said assignment.  Perhaps you are so unfortunate to have slipped one into conversation with a Cliche Catcher nearby.  You know these people.  As soon as you even start to say..."well, you know, the apple doesn't..."

BAM!! They'll interrupt you.  Every time.  With the one cliche that evidently is acceptable to use, because these Cliche Catchers will throw it in the middle of your sentence before that poor apple could even think about falling.

"That's so cliche!" the Cliche Catcher says (extra emphasis on the "so")  Using common phrases and idioms is evidently no longer allowed.  It's just cliche.  Avoid at all costs.

If you haven't picked up on the sarcastic undertones yet, I personally find cliches to be useful at times.  An entire conversation of them might be annoying, but there is one that I find to be rather true.

"It's the small things in life that count"  (or some derivative thereof).  I'd like to take that one step further.  If you stop enjoying and finding joy in the small things, eventually you will stop finding happiness in the big excitements as well.  You keep looking for something bigger and bigger to satisfy this need for the interesting, the new, the exciting, the fun.  The problem occurs because eventually there won't be anything bigger and bigger.  What happens then?

Perhaps you stop the break-neck pace.  Perhaps you slow down and listen to frosty leaves flitting through the branches of the tree with speckled bark.  You begin to notice the adorable quirks of your best friends.  You rediscover the joy of an old song or book.  You enjoy life because you are living it.