2006-06-30

tired...

I get really sad when I get exhausted. Right now I feel like I would love to be a hermit for a couple days. It's one of those times when investing in people and opening yourself seems like the worst possible option and being closed and resting sounds wonderful... just to curl up in a corner with some tea and silence, and keep the whole world outside.

2006-06-28

dreams...

well, all my life I've almost never remembered my dreams... there are probably three or four from my whole life that I remember still - and not only do I not remember them now, I never remember them right after I wake up either. as far as my conscious mind knows at least, I almost never dream. however, this week I have remembered my dreams twice, and actually still remember bits of them. not sure what exactly that means, but I found it interesting :)

2006-06-27

the first five times - stars

The first time, in the backyard
Underneath the plastic sheeting
Outside, it was pouring
And we were drunk as shit

Next time, at a party
When all our friends were there
There's nothing like their mattresses
Underneath the stairs

The third time, in the doorway
Lights all on around us
And the audience beside us
And the old man watching from the trees

Fourth time, I said that's it
You've agreed to give me everything
Now I've got to ask you one more thing
Keep doing that forever

Fifth time in your bedroom
And finally, we rested
And you leaned upon your elbow
And began to speak to me

But you stopped yourself and kissed me
And I grabbed your wrist and told you
I know, I know, I know
I feel the same as you

And everyday, it's changed since then
In every way, I've changed since then
And everyday, it's changed since then
In every way, I've changed since then

Driven outside
I've driven you
Driven outside
I've driven you

ageless beauty - stars

Ageless beauty
Cruelty makes its holes
But on the shoreline
Time will hold its promise

We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it from the surface
We will always be a light

Tattered fingers
Linger on the warm and foolish
Hardened faces
Graceless
We'll lose the battle

We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light

Oceans won't freeze
So loosen your heart
Underestimated
Undefeated
In this love

We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light
You can see it on the surface
We will always be a light

evangelism...

I now know firsthand the awkwardness of being evangelized - there is a woman who has been casing my bus stop in the mornings who is a Jehova's Witness, and she's a nice lady, we've talked a little bit, but it is really awkward, because I know the end goal of conversation for her is to plug the religion and try to get me to convert. I get the same kind of feeling as I do when I walk into, say, a retail store, and the salespeople try to kind of casually talk to you, but really the end goal is to get you to buy something if possible. Only I didn't walk into the store.

Anyway, all of this just reinforces my feeling that evangelizing complete strangers is such a limited tool - unless the person is just in the right spot where they are ready to hear everything you have to say, nothing will get through and it will just be awkward and probably deepen their belief that religious people are just out to sell their morality.

I don't know, maybe there's some place for standing at a bus stop and talking to people. I would rather share life with the people who are in my life and just be me, all of me, and let that be an example of who God is.

2006-06-24

beauty...

Today I am staggered at thinking about the difference beauty can make in the world... PLEASE!!!! Live a life of beauty. Love and give freely and until it hurts. The entire history of the world could be different if you do. Create. Love. Add to the beauty of life. Please.

iraq and taxes...

It's getting to the point where I feel a little bit guilty paying taxes knowing part of it is going to the war in iraq... i hate that this is the case. sometimes it would be nice if there were easy answers. i HATE that the world is broken.

2006-06-23

life...

"In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"...redemption, it was hidden in the landscape of loss and love and fire and rain, we never would have come this way looking for redemption..." -Jars of Clay

It's strange how the difficulty and strangeness and fire and knives of life burn and cut off those parts of us which are not intrinsically a part of who we are, and how as we shed the dross of what comes with our humanity, we see ourselves getting simpler and simpler, more childlike, and more awestruck at the wonder of God... AWESTRUCK, to the point you can't even speak... simpler and simpler and simpler until we ARE... and we realize the goal of life isn't trying to be SOMETHING, but just to BE...

no human would ever begin down the path of losing everything to gain his soul... yet that is what it takes... but having been placed on that path, I can imagine no greater thing than to lose everything which is not me in order to have the joy of being, of being unobstructed from other souls, from God... I want no barriers, no walls, nothing to keep my away from others... I want COMMUNION...

2006-06-22

what is home?

What is home? Because both Portland and Vilnius are my home in different ways and neither of them are completely my home. Is home a place? Will I be looking for the right place all my life, the one that feels just right or offers just the right things? I don't think home is a place. I think home is a community. And by community, I mean a group of souls with which you commune. No matter whether they live with you, or live all the way across the world, you can feel their heart beat and you cry or laugh when they do and you can speak to each other in the deepest silence. After all, what is heaven other than a perfect community? Souls without boundaries.

on christian vs. secular art

I've been thinking more and more about this lately. What is the distinction between "christian" and "secular" art? Why do we draw a distinction? At first the answer seems really easy. Christian art embodies the ideas of christianity, while secular art does not. However, like most easy answers, if we take a look a little bit deeper, we find it's too simple.

  • First of all, is not the act of creating in itself screaming the nature of God? Could we say that anything that we find which is true and truly beautiful comes from God? (Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above) So why would that be different if that true and beautiful thing is coming from a non-christian? That person was made in the image of God just as much as I was, can be used by God just as well as I can.
  • Secondly, does being a christian mean that any art I make will be inherently true, beautiful, useful, edifying, etc? NO! The fact that my brokenness is forgiven does not eliminate the brokenness. I am likely at times to do things which are quite ugly, unthoughtful, insensitive, far from encouraging and uplifting. There is no guarantee that just because I am a christian everything that comes out of my creative pen will be wholesome and true and beautiful.


So, this distinction between christian and secular art does two things. It gives us a false sense of fear of anything which is not labeled as christian. It also gives us a false sense of security about anything that is labeled as christian.

Anywhere we can find the truth and beauty of God (which is anything that is really true and beautiful), we can interact with Him. Even if it is in the art of a non-christian, or something which is not labeled as christian. There is breathtaking beauty in many non-christians' music, poetry, painting, etc... and it causes me to wonder at the hugeness and beauty of God. I don't think it's healthy to just summarily dismiss art which is not labeled as christian.

Regarding art that is labeled as christian, we have to be careful as well. In his podcast recently, Derek Webb (formerly of Caedmon's Call) says he knows a lot of people in the music industry who are professional songwriters, and just as they learn the language of country music and write country songs, they also learn the language of christian music and write christian songs and even worship songs, though many of them are not christians themselves. He notes that a good bit of the music you hear on christian radio was actually written by non-christians. How is someone going to write a meaningful song about a relationship with Christ if they haven't got one?

So, the point is this - as christians, I believe we have the freedom to engage in all art, finding the truth and beauty and discarding the dross wherever we find it. These distinctions between christian and secular art were just set up to sell things in a lot of cases, and we have to look deeper than just labels to determine if something is worthwhile, beautiful, encouraging, uplifting, etc.

There is an issue of sensitivity to the Spirit involved here, in that if you, at the point in life you are at, feel that it is really harmful for you to interact with some particular art, then don't. However, don't dismiss it just because it is not labeled christian, or blindly accept it because it is.

2006-06-19

a wind in the door - madeleine l'engle

"Well, then, if I'm a Namer, what does that mean? What does a Namer do?"

...

"When I was memorizing the names of the stars, part of the purpose was to help them each to be more particularly the particular star each one was supposed to be. That's basically a Namer's job. Maybe you're supposed to make earthlings feel more human."

...

"But how do I do it? How do I Name Mr. Jenkins when all I think of when I see him is how awful he is?

...

"There's a word - but if I say it you'll just misunderstand."

"You have to say it."

"It's a four-letter word. Aren't four-letter words considered the bad ones on your planet?"

"Come on. I've seen all the four-letter words on the walls of the washroom at school."

Proginoskes let out a small puff. "Luff."

"What?"

"Love. That's what makes persons know who they are..."

a wind in the door - madeleine l'engle

"...How long does it take the Milky Way to rotate once around?"

As no one else spoke, Meg answered, "Two hundred billion years, clockwise."

"So that gives us a general idea of the size of your galaxy, doesn't it?"

"Very general," Calvin said. "Our minds can't comprehend anything that huge, that macrocosmic."

"Don't try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition. Think of the size of your galaxy. Now, think of your sun. It's a star, and it's a great deal smaller than the entire galaxy, isn't it?"

"Of course."

"Think of yourselves, now, in comparison with the size of your sun. Think how much smaller you are. Have you done that?"

"Sort of," Meg said.

"Now think of a mitochondrion. Think of the mitochondria which live in the cells of all living things, and how much smaller a mitochondrion is than you."

Mr. Jenkins said, to himself, "I thought Charles Wallace was making them up to show off."

Blajeny continued, "Now consider that a farandola is as much smaller than a mitochondrion as a mitochondrion is smaller than you are."

"This time," Calvin said, "the problem is that our minds can't comprehend anything that microcosmic."

Blajeny said, "Another way of putting it would be to say that a farandola is as much smaller than you are as your galaxy is larger than you are."

how incredible is our God to have created all of this...

2006-06-16

how...

can uninspiring uninspired musicians take beautiful songs and make them ugly? why do they feel the need to do so? :(

on the radio - regina spektor

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

bluh...

do you ever have times when you feel exhausted at the thought of even trying to connect with people?

2006-06-13

moving on...

right now feels like a period of molting... like a snake shedding its skin. it takes some effort for it to come off, but it is the natural way of things and it feels so good once it's done, even if the process was somewhat uncomfortable.

2006-06-12

the little prince - antoine de saint-exupéry

"Good morning," said the little prince.
"Good morning," said the merchant.
This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst. You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.
"Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.
"Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."
"And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"
"Anything you like..."
"As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water."

2006-06-11

do not...

do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid

diversity...

why is it that the diversity of humanity is, for so many people, a threat, and not something beautiful?

2006-06-10

how...

do we get to know such amazing people? seriously.

2006-06-09

whee!

I can't wait for the party tonite!!! Oh yeah, baby.

2006-06-06

moving on...

here we go :)

2006-06-05

a new law - derek webb

Go watch this video... it's a fantastic video to a fantastic song...

I refuse to live by a law that is stale and meaningless and is made up to give us an easy out of every situation and to relieve us from the burden of having to actually interact with God. No thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr4DBnB7aNQ

duck and cover - glen phillips

Someone's in the back yard, banging on the door
Daddy's gone away, he's coming back no more
His baby's curled up on a stranger's floor
Mama's thinking family dinners weren't too much to ask for

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

Cause one way or another, we'll all need each other
Nothing's gonna turn out the way you thought it would
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should

Blessed are the humble, blessed are the meek
Blessed are the hungry, blessed are the weak
Blessed are the ones on the other side
Blessed are we for just being alive

One day I stopped wanting anything at all
The heavens opened up like a waterfall
No use in worrying about when it ends
Just for now be thankful for what I get

Cause one way or another, a man's gonna suffer
It makes no difference the way you wanted it
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should in the end

Seems like life is a palindrome
You cry when you die, you cry when you're born
In between it's all about the ups and downs
Add 'em all together, they cancel each other out

Cause one way or another
One way or another
You won't get what you wanted
You'll get enough, for sure
One way or another
Winter pays for the summer
Won't get what you wanted
What you got'll be good

Someone's in the back yard, banging on the door
Daddy's gone away, he's coming back no more
His baby's curled up on a stranger's floor
Mama's thinking happy endings weren't too much to ask for