Archive for September, 2008
i forgot how amazing his book “Letters to a Young Poet” is. You should read it.
People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the
easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to
what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends
itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all
costs to be so and against all opposition.We know little, but that we must hold to
what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary,
for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another:
that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and
proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
For this reason young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love:
they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered close about
their lonely, timid, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time
is always a long, secluded time, and so loving, for a long while ahead and far on into
life, is–solitude, intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves.
Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what
would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate–?), it is a high
inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself for another’s sake, it is a
high exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
shane claiborne has a southern accent. i did not remember he was from tennessee.
he said many great things tonight. he is a very challenging person, in word and in action. i felt a sense of sadness, if i am honest, at the lack of love and passion in my life as i listened to him. i’ve become very hardened to so much and its something i don’t completely understand but it was good to evaluate myself in light of things he talked about.
he showed videos and pictures of people from all over the country who have done radical things to embody love. one guy went to uganda with the money he won on of all things, The Price Is Right. he took over $50K with him to give away and spent months living at an orphanage.
every time i see those beautiful babies in orphanages i feel this twinge in my heart. of course i can’t have any children right now, but it makes me anticipate the day when i can offer myself to a child in that way. i want to be what shane talked about in my present circumstances; love with flesh on it. love that is imaginative and creative. love that doesn’t have to be showy or recognized.
love is not easy. it has to overcome a lot. it involves great risk and dealing with a lot of fears. but it can be simple. it can be small. it can be amazing. it can change peoples lives. it can be done. and, like the sticker on my car says, it does ultimately win.
i am just quick to forget.
sometimes when you are a program assistant you don’t get to choose your duties. or the classes that get put on the schedule for the youth in your program. typically i do have control over such things, but not in the case of the laughter and dance therapy class that we hosted from a local group today.
my duties may or may not have included being volunteered to learn and perform in front of 20 teenagers/20-somethings an interpretive [worship] song with interludes.
this is all i have for today.
grieving makes me feel very out of control. but that is where i am right now. i go back and forth from anger to hope to regret to grief to hope to doubt to anger to…
i am still processing through what i thought was secure and unconditional. this is the scariest thing of all and probably something i will grieve more than anything. even if right now i feel more controlled by the fear that has accompanied the silence, i hope this grief will be what transforms me into a person more capable of trust and hope and love than before.
if anything, i am learning right now that while i’d like to think i usually make good decisions, i am not always right. i am easily provoked when i feel wronged and well, impatience is just too easy.
its so easy to focus on the things other people do to hurt you instead of on the things you do to not only hurt them, but yourself. its completely unhealthy to live this way. its completely opposite of anything love should look like. i’ve gone back to this passage several times this week looking for validation instead of for correction.
and so it goes. i am a messy person who is never very graceful and, because of pride, hesitant to learn because usually when you have to learn something it means you aren’t doing something right… and i need to pay more attention to what i do when i am wrong.
i am just really upset with myself at the moment. its never fun to realize things you don’t like about yourself. that said, i am slowing down and realizing it will be okay. the ungraceful and messy moments don’t define me but simply are a part of me learning how to grow, mature, adapt, and, well, love myself and other people more fully. its just hard to not get stuck staring at those parts of myself.
tonight, though, i am stopping.
and putting on a movie.
and finishing a book.
driving back from alabama yesterday i found myself thinking of big yellow jump suits. maybe white ones. i can’t remember. either way, i mean the kind that are worn when white powder falls out of an envelope onto someone’s desk or a mad cow is discovered in some field in the U.K. you are safe. you can get as close as you want to danger. you can get up close to whatever it is that could potentially harm you because you are confidently aware of the boundaries in place. you are [hopefully] protected from any outside force that could penetrate. without the suit, well, all bets are off. you are exposed. you may get infected.
its like a hunter with a gun. if he is confident enough of his ability, he can protect himself [God-forbid] from any personal danger and use his weapon to “get the job done.” take his gun away… and it may be a different story out in the field.
obviously the CDC and hunters have the right to use suits and guns. but when you are dealing with people- beings with emotion and intellect and not a source of contamination and/or your next meal you don’t approach them with latex gloves on or with a shotgun over your shoulder. its just not how people are to be handled. but we do it. we have our own weapons and walls we construct at any given moment we feel threatened. and then we either only get close enough that we can’t get dirty, or we shoot if we feel threatened.
i am probably only making sense to myself, and thats okay. its just some of what i’ve been processing over the last few days.