Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A couple of months ago I was sitting in the Beamer Center talking on the phone, when Karen gave me a look. The "your zipper is down" look. (It is important to have friends of this high quality around.) It had been down all afternoon. This would be an embarrassing story if I stopped there, but it goes on. Later that day, in the privacy of my room, I zip my zipper down to see just how bad it must have looked. Some down zippers don't matter, but in these high waisted jeans, they did. And then the door bell rings and I run halfway down the stairs and there is a guy there I'd really like to impress. Of course I notice him looking at my zippered down zipper, and of course there is nothing I can do but stand there and talk as he is eye level with said zipper (due to the stairs). It was like a twisted Shakespeare balcony scene.That's pretty much where it ends, except yesterday during improv I have to do a monologue around the word "zipper" and of course that story comes to mind. And I had to tell it as a triathlete. It started out pretty good. I pretended I only wore spandex and wasn't familiar with these archaic zippers. But then I didn't know what to say next, so I started jogging around the room, and it was like time stopped. The blank brain in front of a crowd is perhaps one of the worst feelings a person can have. Last time this happened I was running as well, chasing my daughter with a giblet and when I finally caught up to her, I put her in a headlock and said, "let us nibble this together." Anyway, time didn't stop, and I coughed up a few words about the three adidas stripes and took a seat. In recording my dreams, I have no new news other than all the characters in my dreams have been African American for the past four nights. Except Brittany. I have no explanations.
Chanticleer, December 2007 "The kind of music I want to continue hearing after I am dead is thekind that makes me think I will be capable of hearing it then." SarahManguso, "Hell" From 12 round mouths and 24 mirrored halves of vocal cords, muscled flaps banging together and then apart at 440 times a second, Ave Maria, let it be done unto me. Breaking the seal between life and death between air and not air between believing and not believing oh break the seal at 440 times a second, Ave Maria, let it be done unto me. An elderly man sitting down the pew is not afraid to cry for who is worthy to be here who is worthy to hear these notes as pure as robin's eggs held together in gorgeous unease, the flapping of the angel's wings, at 440 times a second Ave Maria, let it be done unto me.
Friday, January 18, 2008
When I was little, my dad wanted me to become a chess champion. He had us watch "Searching for Bobby Fischer" a million times. It is about a little boy who wins lots of tournaments. Bobby Fischer died a few days ago. The hoax is up. I will never know how to open a chess game. This morning I came down the stairs head first walking on my hands. The stairs gave my stomach and elbows a nasty ruggish burn. Two minutes later after an impromptu film documentary, my heart stopped and I couldn't see a thing. Then my heart began again, very quickly, and I could see. I put an icecube on my forehead and it stopped. By that, I mean it went back to regular. I volunteered at Emmaus today in the ministry center. One of the guys asked me what I was doing at school. In general, he was extrordinarily well spoken and mannered to the point it was easier picturing him in a French parlor than living on the streets. After I told him I was a senior in college however, his mannerism totally broke and he said, "mm, mm, mm. grrrl, you look like you are in kindergarten." And then he smiled his charming smile. I hope we get to be better friends. The day was bookended with two good conversations with Karen. It is so wonderful hanging out with her. We are like the Frog and ladybug on iGoogle. They play croquett in the sun; we make pancakes in the kitchen. They tell ghost stories at night; we predict and try to counterpredict horror stories about our futures. It is funny that they are my current picture of friendship, but they just are. That is just the way it is. I have to write down my dreams and write a paper on them for my Psychology class. Two nights ago I had a dream where I was at a Bible study and everyone was passing around a ziplock bag filled with urine. I think it has to do with my fears about peeing in my pants in public, but I don't want the whole world to know about that! ^_^ Peace to you.
I read an article on time recently, and it was really fascinating. Today we think of time as a continuous line stretching out into the future, but for a long time people thought of time as a much more cyclical phenomenon. We still have seasons and a sense of what that might have been like, but for the most part time marches forward. What the author was proposing was that it was the incarnation of Christ that forever changed the cyclical view of time, because suddenly there was an event (at least in the mindset of the Western world) that was unrepeatable. Thus the circle of time was broken and unfurled like a scroll. It was only later on that this radical shift in the conception of time fully took root, but it is interesting to note that during the Enlightenment, even in the midst of the "de-enchantment of the world" the idea of time remained a vector. The kingdom of God was replaced with ideas of progress, etc. The World Wars (and for some like Wordsworth and Blake, the Industrial Revolution) brought disillusionment with the idea of progress in a merely physical, mechanical universe. The imagination and art became perhaps the main way people struggled to re-enchant the world. The imagination took place and usurped the role of a spiritual plane (perhaps analogous to Plato's forms?). The imagination as we define it today was barely thought of 250 years ago. Now with ever increasing leisure time and technology, our ability to enter into the inner realms of another's imagination has increased dramatically. At the same time, it seems like this realm has offered an escape rather than engagement. We have been cut off not only from the concept of time and history due to this but even each other. So what do we do now? On this trajectory of time, trying desperately to re-enchant the world with art, trying to make our lives like art, failing so often. I speak as one who is tragically stuck in this pattern. Can a poem be a sacramental thing? If so, we have lost consubstantiation to the symbol, and the incarnation to a fairy tale. So anyway. That's all for my reductionistic thinking tonight. With that I leave you with a W.H. Auden quote that I think is interesting but slightly connected: Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Today I woke up. I spent the whole morning looking for grad schools. I just don't know where I want to go, what I want to do. Psychology? Theology? English? These are my big academic passions right now. It's funny because I feel like I am finally entering a time in my life where I'm ready to learn. And now I'm graduating. One day I would love to write a book I think. I would love to be the kind of person who has life-giving things to say to others. Dishes. Prayer group. Class. Lunch. Guitar practice. Karen! (whom I love dearly). Reading "The God Delusion." Improv workshop. I was a Chinese woman named Mrs. Springfragrance who was very shy, but witnessed a Chile's being burned down and had to testify on a talk show. Working out with Katheryn and Abercrombie and Fitch model (last time I saw him, he was on a huge billboard in London.) I shouldn't refer to him like that, but it is a defining characteristic nonetheless. It is always awkward when you are running on a treadmill next to someone who is a much better athlete, but the stakes gets raised even higher in this kind of situation. Fortunately I didn't care too much so I sweated and panted it out anyway. It is difficult enough trying not to think about the red-lit numbers: 34.2 calories….34.6 calories….34.8 calories…..etc, etc. My mind is so undisciplined! I came back and talked to my roommates and practiced my dance. I ate a potato. Tomorrow is my first day working at my internship with an autistic girl named Emily. I am really nervous. My life is really full of good things right now and I feel really thankful. May the things we learn in the light stay with us when we travel into darker times.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
But their idols are silver and gold, Made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, Eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but cannot hear, Noses, but they cannot smell, They have hands but cannot feel, Feet, but they cannot walk; Nor can they utter a sound with their throats Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. -Psalm 115:4-8 Verses like this can be found throughout the Bible, and I don't think you necessarily have to believe it is the Word of God to agree with the principle it teaches; we are shaped by and, in a sense, become what we worship. If we worship money, we will become greedy. If we worship sex, lustful. If we worship people, selfish and/or dependent. Whatever we worship, owns us, and we are all so much less free than we believe. The problem is that I really believe we were made to worship. We are all looking for something/someone to redeem us, something to put our trust and hope in. (Perhaps, I am generalizing too strongly, but this has been my experience.) I also firmly believe that the best person in the world, the most kind, beautiful, and loving person, does not deserve the worship of the lowliest dregs of society. Their worship is too good for her. At the end of the day, wrongly directed worship seriously fucks up relationships. I don't care what the movies say. It hurts the person who is worshipping; it hurts the person who is being worshipped. Sometimes I wonder if celebrities are ruined, not only by wealth or privilege etc etc, but also by their worshipping fans. To be honest, I think I've probably had a taste of both sides of this situation, and it is always awful. They have never been able to deliver what I ultimately need, and I certainly have not been able to deliver. Distinguishing between love and worship is a tricky thing. Worship means never letting go; in fact, you can't let go; you have put all the anchors of who you are into that thing. It is inappropriate to let go. However, so many times, when we love people, as corny as it sounds, it requires us to let them go. This is a conflation of a personal message and something I've been thinking about lately. I hope it comes off not a judgment as much as an encouragement. If you are reading this, I probably love you.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Journal entries about dreams are always a bit presumptuous. It is presumptuous enough that I think that you will care about my real life, much less my subconcious life unless, let's face it, it is rediculously dirty or violent. And at that point, it is usually not the fact that the dream is disturbing as much as the fact that you are sharing it online, once again bringing it into the "real life" category. But that being said. Oh well. It feels like everyone I know is pregnant. On top of having recently pretended to be pregnant, it makes sense why I would be thinking and dreaming about it a lot. So last night Dan Gast was twelve years old and got this other twelve year old pregnant. Her body was too small to go through with the whole thing so they re-emplanted it in me whereupon my abdomen kept swelling to gargantuan proportions daily. (I was also having a parallel dream that I was feeling my stomach grow while sleeping on my bed). The 12 year old girl wanted Zygote (as we affectionally called him) back and so they yanked him out of me. Then I went drinking with Brittany whereupon I got really drunk and projectile vomitted all over this beautiful garden. There was a lot of other stuff too. Chris and Chad got in a huge fight during a movie. Random things. A lot of sad and lonely things in general. So that's that. I just wanted to let you know.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
It has been a year and a half since I last wrote to you, my love. It is 2008. I've just finished watching the movie "capote" and the feeling of the solemn piano music of the credits is still with me. It's interesting, those moments after a good movie, before the rest of your life. A curtain call of names that you don't read as much as feel, as the whole production reveals it was just a production (these names are not our names, no people or animals were actually hurt, the scenes were shot in Oklahoma not Kansas.) The credits is this period of time when we are forced to hear the art asking us if we will allow it in some small way to change our lives. Which is why, of course, great art needs great audiences. But we've been formed for the culture of entertainment or perhaps catharsis and then release; art has become a masterbatory act. Let it be for me that way. please. Let it not be for me that way. Thank G-D it is not for me that way. It becomes this sterile, fruitless pleasure. We can let them mourn for us yes, but at some point, we must mourn for them, the potential fleshy thems who might someday push on the boundaries of our love in some harder way, the TV screen being the glass box that holds the bug we learn to love but later must learn to live with. Art sometimes provides the back door to love or hate. Backwards, perhaps. Dangerous yes. But good in its proper place, imagination the handmaiden of Truth.