"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

well, here i am

here i am, sitting here, alive and trying. Have you ever noticed how so many of our many moments in the day are spent trying? Why can't we just relax and let life happen? i think some of us can. my brother seems to be one of those people. although he's maturing and starting to care about things, which frightens me. Anyway, the ranks of stressed out, over worked, habitually over-thinking adults will welcome him with open arms, i'm sure, just as they are me. man that sounds depressing. we'll always have a kid in us too..
today i lay on the warm sidewalk and soaked in a glorious humid thunderstorm of a wednesday afternoon, eating the raindrops and feeling thunder in my gut. the younger i was, the more i wanted to do adult things. the older i get, the more i yearn to find kid places in my heart.
and the more i do stupid things and realize they're stupid, which is the stupid part.
i realized this afternoon in my balmy upstairs sub-let room that i have too often associated God with guilt, which is why i am sometimes stupidly unhappy. i want always to do the right thing, when perhaps i should just do a thing and let it be. and stop freakin thinking about it. Because He does - the Word says He forgets our sins, so why can't I? And I just need to loosen up. Everyone does. what a socially conscious world. i sometimes find myself thinking Should i do this? if i do this, how will it affect our friendship? and i see it their eyes too. at least with this group of friends. and then i wonder Did i do/am i doing the wrong thing right now? but who's to say what's right and wrong? God, right? and He says what's right is to have peace. so we should just chill. that's one of the reasons i liked luke so much. he didn't think about whether it was the right thing to do, he just knew he wanted to and so he did it, and i was usually - ok, always - dragged along. good times, but i often let the guilt of staying up too late etc. etc. weigh on me throughout the next day or in our relationship. In the wise words of sheryl crow, If it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?

Monday, June 20, 2005

It’s intriguing, fascinating how thoughts seem to hover sometimes in certain places. This morning I awoke with a start and a flood of thoughts, about the day, about my God, about the night before rushed into my brain. I got up, went about making breakfast and watching Trading Spaces with the house members, discovered my period had begun, sat on the breezy front porch and talked with Meg while she had a smoke, decided I would go for a run to work off the half-box of cheerios I ate at 2 o’ clock this morning, walked back upstairs, grabbed a pillow and sat on my bed to read some before I head out. Immediately, I had this sense that I should be thinking about something... a vague sense of the feelings I had this morning. This is a home for my morning thoughts, and no matter what I do before I return to it, I can revisit what I felt this morning. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know. It makes life seems kind of circular, doesn’t it? We almost always go back to the things we know.
People work that way too. I mean they’re homes for certain parts of ourselves that we’ve given to them. A home for our love. Or laughter. Smells – they trigger so many emotions. You know how that special person smells? You walk by and catch just a small hint of their scent, and some part of you wakes up – some part of you has come to a home that only exists in that person. It’s beautiful. There is beauty in the world, at our fingertips. God’s beauty is shown through the simplest feelings.
I watched Closer a few nights ago. Amazing. But at one point, a young, disillusioned woman (Alice) is looking at a photo gallery, all blown-up pictures of strangers looking desolately at the camera. Another character asks her what she thinks of the exhibit (she is one of the “strangers” in the pictures). She says “It’s a lie.” She says it’s a lie because everyone walks around and looks at the pictures and says “oh, they’re beautiful,” but the truth is they’re just people. Sad, sad people with a ton of crap in their lives. It’s not beautiful. It’s hopeless. At first I agreed. That night I took a long walk down State St. I felt like sitting on the curb, still warm from the sun, and watching cars go by. Presently I saw a young man with his son in his shoulders, laughing and bouncing up and down. Normally this would have nearly brought tears to my eyes. A father with his young son is a precious sight to me. Instead, I thought Ah, but this man has hidden sins like anyone else, like me, a whole life outside of this moment that’s not beautiful. And the boy screams at his mother sometimes and will grow up just as complicated as everyone else. This moment is not beautiful. It, too, is a lie. A covering over and simplification of what life really is.
And I thought of that moment in the movie. And then I decided, perhaps beauty is a lie. All of it. That’s all it is. Bear with me. But the human soul, or body or whatever feels; our spirits, we can sense something good and we call it beauty. So it must exist in some form. Or we would not feel it. Maybe saying that “this is all good” is a lie. Saying that this boy and his daddy together is irrevocably a good thing is a lie. But that truth, that it’s not good, may be what makes it beautiful. Perhaps beauty, when it comes to humans, has a rotten core, and that’s what makes it stand out. Despite our faults and tragedies, we can look at our perception of something, whether it’s a lie or not, and say, that’s beautiful, and feel it. We believe ourselves, amazingly enough, no matter how many times we find we’ve been horribly wrong. We believe in true beauty.
Beautiful is a mystery. What is it? I guess somehow it just makes all the difference that it’s there. It’s good.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Summer in Ohio

I am now living in a new world, where I am young and inexperienced and I have to teach myself to be honest, because it doesn't come easily here. The truth of who I am is not as readily ingested, let alone embraced, by those around me as it has been in the past. Safety is no longer an option. It's sink or swim, when it comes to living up to my beliefs and priorities.
My summer house is alternately fantasically chaotic and mind-numbingly boring. Chaotic: naked swimming parties, drunken musical performances, walking into a room in my house to find someone I've never seen before having a smoke with (insert: Lillian/Meg/Luke/Cassie) for the fourth time this week. Boring: staring incredulously at Britney and Kevin episodes with Cassie, being completely, entirely, absolutely alone (which I haven't experienced in months,) eating soup, spaghetti, a tuna or peanut butter sandwich, or insant oatmeal for every meal.
It's rather up and down. And I've been as well. Up and down. What excellent grammar I have.
At times I'm gloriously in tune with God, worshipping or just enjoying time with him. I often take long walks and we talk for an hour or so. That's good. Really good. And being with people is more fun than I could have imagined - just the White House members and/or whoever stops by. But it's also stressful. And depressing. I long for someone who understands some aspect of the real me, not just how much fun I can be or how interesting of a conversationalist I am. Both of which I've been known to fail at miserably at times - nobody's perfect. But whatever. The fact is that as much as I love these people and have a very close connection to some of them, there's nothing like a loyal friend you've got a lot in common with.
I used to think anyone could be great friends with anyone if they tried hard enough, no matter how many differences you have. And I do have some real close friends here this summer who I don't have much at all in common with. That's great. But as much time as we spend together, we don't really understand one another's motivations, deep desires or struggles. And there are a couple I have a lot in common with, but I don't really feel like hanging out with them. I'm not being a prick, I swear, we just don't have great friend-chemistry. So, I guess the lessons of the day are:

1) Truly good friends are incredibly hard to come by.
2) Oatmeal every day sucks balls.
3) God is my only hope.

That last one is just kind of one I rediscover every day, so I thought I'd throw it in.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Baby you can drive my car... yes, I'm gonna be a star

Today, I drove. Ah, what freedom. It's amazing how long we allow ourselves to live without any moments that give us true joy.
Sitting in my own comfy box of solitude, my favorite music just loud enough so I can sing without hearing too much of myself, cool air flowing over my cheeks and shoulders, complete control and the option of heading west and never stopping in the back of my mind. Just me and God here, and no one will interrupt us. Beautiful.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

reflection crap

I finally have the time and energy to post.
Things are changing. Or the world is the same as it has always been, but it's affecting me now in new ways.
I have a wonderful group of friends. Truly amazing people - no more amazing than any other group of people, I'm sure - but I get to see these ones go through this part of life. Abigail, you are beautiful, and you've shown me much that I don't yet understand. Maybe I never will. Tonight Clare said "I've never been in love before Micah. I'm so happy." I said "Well you waited for the right one, at least for right now." Then, Abigail, you said "Why not fall in love as much as you possibly can? It's wonderful," and I thought, "why not?" So I'm going to fall in love and not be loved back. It's time to let go and live.
I truly love these people. You know what I love about us? It's not all fun. Sometimes we hate each other. And then we laugh until we piss our pants. And we're all so beautiful.
Lenny staying here was awesome. I don't think I could have gotten through the week without him reminding me that I'm always wrong and distracting me from thinking about useless stressful things. Lenny, you are wonderful. My friends loved you. You came at a weird time though. I wish you could have gotten a much clearer glimpse of what life is like here when we're not all so distracted and separate. But it was great to have you.
Sex is ok. I mean talking about it. People are freaked out about it. It's great to be around people who... aren't, occasionally.
I move into the White House in a few days, and it will be the beginning of a whole new college experience. Catherine is worried about me. "Will you be ok? I hear this... and this... and so-and-so's a blah blah blah..." But would I be ok no matter where I live? I guess it's kind of up to me, eh? Life is life. We get through the choices we make. And I don't think it's for better or for worse. Just different. So I'll be ok.
I went to a foam party tonight. What the crap? What is so exciting about dancing in a wet pile of foam and an inch of water with blaring music and strobe lights? What's the point? Your feet get wet and you get a headache? I'll take regular dancing any day. In fact, I'd rather dance naked in a field all alone in the middle of the day.
So, I don't know what's going on with God right now. But I've discovered that nothing satisfies more than Him. That's the truth as played out in my life. The more I party, the more I etc. etc., the emptier I get. Until I invite Him to the party, (as cheesy as it sounds,) but nothing satisfies for longer than an hour or two unless I talk to Him during and after and hang out with Him as well as the others. Or else I leave feeling empty. I hate empty. I love God. He is so patient.

So, here's to hate and love and Lenny and dancing and honesty and Otterbein college and all the acting each of us does every day of our lives. And God.