Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a thought about summer...

So, have you ever been in one of those places where you feel like you belong. Like you've grown up there. Where you've spent countless hours running through the woods and walking down the lanes. Where the sun shines a bit brighter and the rain falls a bit softer? "Perhaps," you think, "I might stay forever here and be happy always?" There's something bewitching about the way the shadows fall across the tire worn path out to the back field, the way the crooked fence stretches down beside it, holding back the pasture on its side, the way the leaves rustle in the still breeze. Something bewitching, and yet so real. My life away from here seems like the dream. The busy life in which we do so much, seems like it means nothing. Rather these lazy summer days seem so much more full. I long to photograph every shadow, every rock, every blade of grass, the field, the tree, the bird, the wind...but they are nothing in these pictures. I know this. I know that we can but live beauty like this; we can but let it raise us to higher things. We cannot keep it for ourselves, can we? Can we become part of it without making a god of it? In it is the glory of God, but it is not the glory of God. I lose sight of this. I would lie down in these green pastures never to rise again if i could. If only i could grasp even the tiniest bit of existence with which they overflow. Man is so much more alive, and yet i feel that we do not know it. We do not grow tall and grand like the maple, nor do we bow gently and beautifully like the hay; we dont even know the length to which a man can grow. There are so many possibilities, and yet, we can't even see one of those possibilities. These things are in possession of the fullness of their nature and yet they know nothing. We, we clever men, do not, at times, even know our own nature. How very ridiculous it is. How we fail to live up to the natural dignity of mankind, let alone to that dignity to which Christ raised us when he assumed our nature. I would stay here forever if it were only to remember this always. But I know man's place is not alone. Why do we like a tree better when it has a swing, a river better when it has a boat, a garden better when it has a bench? The very fact that a worn path and a fence can be poetry to me, speaks admittedly of our social nature. We must go back, if only to keep these things sacred. ...."I go to the hills, when my heart is lonely..." but it is not the staying in the hills that heals one. It is the coming back down that finally mends the heart. It is not the sleep before the big game that gives us glory and worth, even though it is essential. Likewise, it must be the work that we do when we come down from our 'real' world that purifies us, and the time spent among the beauties of the world, is that which refreshes us. I would stay here forever... but then I would long for my mountains and pines. And this place would become my world from which I would want to escape... The shadows would grow oppressive because of the sun that made them, the lanes would become confining because they lead always to the same places, the fence would turn bothersome because it needs attention. No, i will not stay here. But I will return so that I can remember. "My heart is restless..."

07-30-07

How can i keep from singing?

" My life goes on, in endless song, above earths lamentations, I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation. Through all the tumult and the strife I hear its music ringing. It sounds an echo in my soul; how can I keep from singing?" Some people inspire us through action, some through words and thought, others through music, and still others through art; each of these are noble in themselves, but the person to whom I would like to pay tribute has influenced me through all these mediums. Daily through her actions, her encouragement, her perseverance and her constant cheerfulness she taught me and other students what it means to live a life worth living. She showed us what it really means to live our Faith and to live it well.
In the boarding school to which I went we called the nuns mother. Seems a bit weird at first, but truly you realize that really they are your mothers, for they give to us the life of the intellect just as our biological mothers give to us the life of the body, and a boarding school is just like a family. Mother Gabriel of the Sacred Heart was the Prioress of our school for nine years, as well as its founder. Out of the depths of the Idaho forests she made it possible for a magnificent school and chapel to be raised from the granite mountainside. In 1990 she came to this country with six other nuns and started our school in a small green house with just five boarding students and a few day students. Now, some fifteen years later there are five buildings with row upon row of desks in beautiful classrooms and bedrooms aplenty. They are now bursting at the seams with over 30 boarding students and 200 day students. And what else has she to her name? A girls choir, which has produced two CDs of polyphony, one sacred the other Christmas, and which some say is the most beautiful they have ever heard. But besides this choir being so beautiful, she really gave us something by teaching us music. She gave us love, and desire, she gave us the will to give ourselves completely to something. She taught us unity and discipline, and helped us to understand that " Sacred music is a double prayer," and that " Next to silence, music comes closest to expressing the inexpressible."
All this and more she has given us, and all the while very sick with a heart condition, yet never did I see her complain or be unjustly angry, or just plain grumpy. Always a smile, always a twinkle in her eyes. How, then, can I keep from singing, when, like a mother, through song and her example she has given me the wings to rise above the lamentations of this world?

12-06-06

hanging by a thread

Pain is an interesting thing. A strange thing. It seems so ruthless and raging when you are consumed by it, yet, it's so hard to remember. Of course there's always a little red sign in your head to remind you of the time, but if you really try and think about it, think about how bad it really hurt, it's almost impossible to remember. For me anyhow. I guess that's the genius of our creator? Our mind can do so much more than we know, especially with pain. If we don't realize that it's painful, we tend to shirk it off, say it's not so bad. If the worst physical pain you've ever felt was a broken arm or something, then who are you to say it's the greatest pain one could have? I think sometimes you can measure it by how much it takes your breath away? I dont know. It is so hard to concentrate though, when you're in pain...i'ts like there's a sick feeling in your gut besides the actually hurt; your throat sticks, and your tongue cleaves to your jaw. You realize after awhile that your shoulders hurt too because your body is trying too hard to deal with the pain that everything else tenses up to try and support the part that's not doing its part. Your teeth are clenched, and finally you end up with a headache too because of it. Pain.... it's so real when it's there...but when it's gone, it's so easy to forget. I can remember all these things, but the pain itself, my mind trys to forget. And when it comes raging back...it's a nightmare all over again -- if only I'd remembered....
But this isn't for the body only...pain in body, soul, mind, heart...it's all the same...if only we could truly remember....but then maybe we'd all feel this way...maybe forgetting is a mercy given to us....

01-15-06

Perhaps...

Define: Worthless
Its a funny life we live. Would you agree? At times we feel compelled to do one thing, while at other times it seems so completely futile to pursue it. I try at times to convince myself that the good far out weighs the bad, but does it really? I understand that it does because it is so much more valuable... "one ounce of virtue practiced in tribulation is worth more than a thousand in times of peace and joy...", but its so hard to believe. Knowing is not believing, unfortunately. And yet in between the fire of good and the bad, the joyful and the sorrowful, the hopeful and despairing, there is a no man's land, a land of ice, and fog, and emptiness. Have you ever been on the prairie in the middle of winter? The fog is all around you, your voice sticks in your throat and as it closes in, it's swirling thickness seems to hand you over to the calls of the coyotes? It's like that in that no man's land. No fire to light you in love or hatred... and yet you continue, because you seem to have a vague recollection of a warmth once felt, a fight once fought, a faith once real.
There is something more, you remind yourself. And yet, so often that hope is flung away and shattered like an icicle upon the frozen ground. You rely on one person to show you the way, you see in another the strength to continue, you find inspiration in another, but you are all too often reminded that they too are human. When one stronger than yourself fails, what then are you to think? Perhaps it is not a failure for them, but in your eyes... and suddenly, without any particular reason, you do feel worthless, you do feel good for nothing.
Who has not felt this way? And sometimes I wonder if that is the lot of man, to feel worthless, to realize he is nothing and in perspective that he does nothing? "Comrades, I call upon you now to bear me witness, when have we felt ourselves happy men?" Of course there is some happiness and joy, but it doesn't last... but the sorrow, that seems to last... but i wonder... perhaps it's ok to be sad? To feel empty deep down inside. If we are not bitter, then perhaps sorrow is only natural to man. An indefatiguable smile on your lips, yet sorrow in your heart... perhaps this is the true meaning of man. What is it Tennyson wrote of Ulysses...:

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Perhaps that is what makes him a man..."He is the sane man," says Chesterton, " who can have tragedy in his heart, and comedy in his head..." A friend once said "for those who can hold the memory of the past in an insane world, that heart stands fast." Must we hold then, the memory of the past in our hearts... for it is a sad memory -- an irish story of sorts --, a memory of what we could have been, what we should have been, and realize, there is only one mistake in life...?

01-20-06

falling down, double meanings...

He is in my every thought. When I wake in the morning and before I fall asleep at night there he is. He is in my every smile and my laugh, and when I'm sad it's because I have forgotten about him. It is for him I do those little things which perhaps normally I would be loathe to do. He is there when I feel alone, and he takes my hand to show me the way. It's for him that I work when I feel like doing anything but work. When I feel like walking, He pulls me into running with him. He bids me catch up with him when I lag behind. For him I smile when I feel like sighing. He is the reason I come home late when I'm tired. He makes me laugh when all I want to do is cry. He is the reason I keep breathing when I no longer want to. He is my reason. He is my everything. I would give of myself completely for him, if only he asks it of me.... Will he ask it of me?...and... does he even exist?

10-07-05

green sweater days...

Hmmm sooo what to write..... But lets see. Sometimes, dont you just feel like swearing? Yeah it's been one of those days. And not just regular swearing, you know here and there when you're mad, but one of those days you just feel like every word deserves an expletive. It's as if it just started out wrong the night before. When you're tired but can't sleep because your bed is uncomfortable, and you're freezin your ever lovin feet off....how ones feet are everlovin, I'm not quite sure..but anyhow...yeah and when you get up you can see your breath...well I mean that's not really a horrible thing, but I dunno it seems to allll come together at some point. You're kind of mad for no reason, the day is cold and grey, here comes the rain to top it all off. It's your day off, but there's a lot to do, and out in the cold, with no one to help. Fences to build and fix, leaves to be picked up, apples to be dealt with, and all the while when you're making this mental list, you look up into the disheartening sky and remember that it's supposed to snow that day, and nothing is done. One consolation is that with the coming of snow comes a beautiful thing called snowboarding. However, as this thought is slowly warming you up you find out someone is not doing what they are supposed to be doing, what they should have had done weeks ago, and they whine at you about how cold it is. At that point, it's all over, and suddenly every noun must, by all means, be accompanied by an utterance of seemingly monumental sorts. Flooding into your mind comes a million other reasons to be ticked off, from no food in the house when you're starving, to no dry wood when youre freezing. You look banefully around the room for anyone who will venture into your destructive path. Fortunately they are all out of sight... fortunately for them anyhow... The day looks more dismal by the second.
But you know, then there are those little things, those little rays of sunshine that seem to break through, and remind you, with a few expletives nevertheless, that really the world is not ending, the sky is not falling, and that mankind is not irremediable, contrary to ever-so-recent staggering substantiation of these facts. Like my youngest neice for example. There she was sitting quietly on a sheep skin in front of a fire, wearing a green sweater that her dad, and all the rest of us wore when we were ten months. You know, ten months, heck that's nothing! and already there she is with a little personality, and not a demon either, thank god. And when she sees me out goes her little hands and a little smile lights up her serious face. Maybe my days are not that bad after all when God can make such a beautiful little thing happy even when she has to rely completely on others who may or may not be responsible enough to do what needs to be done. It's a beautiful thing, a child playing by themselves. Maybe I should do the same thing and quit being selfish thinking someone always has to be there to keep me company and help me out. Maybe that's why children get so many graces...God helps those who help themselves, eh?...
Well, it's still one of those days when I feel like swearing, but now I guess I can swear about things because I'm a little content, even if things aren't going the best. I said to my friend the other day that there are only three times I swear. When I'm furious, when I'm scared, and finally when I'm overwhelmed. Whether that's overwhelmed in a good way or not, those words still seem to begin to suffice, to begin to describe the indescribable. Hmm, call my vocabulary stinted, but sometimes the familiar needs to be described by the familiar. And those green sweater days, those are the days that we should keep familiar......

11-05-05

she said write about the rain...

Every now and then the sound of rain and road brings me to a place I have long forgotten. I remember lying in my bunk, hearing the cars go by, seeing their lights slide around my bedroom walls, wondering about their world, safe in mine. A child’s comfort. The appeal of the rain is in its simplicity – the sounds, the smells, the peaceful insistence. Like the snow, or the river, it just keeps coming and coming – threatening, perhaps – but also perfectly lovely even in violence. To stand in the rain, face to the gale, eyes closed, is a phenomenal feeling. All power and submission; meaningful yet insignificant, we feel the place of man -- somewhere between heaven and earth, it would seem. We haven't the raw power of the beast nor the beauty of the heavens, yet there is something there that calls to us and bids us take a place among them. Can we ever? Can we fall gently like the rain or howl like the wind, or do we only dream of such perfection? To be like the rain -- to fall and never hurt -- that would be a blessing; and yet I wonder: perhaps we are like the rain. Must we always fall from such heights to shatter into a million pieces, only to rise again for another fall? But maybe too, like the rain, our fall can be a blessing, for in breaking ourselves what beauty can blossom out of the muck, if even a single flower? Perhaps some day we will be able to stop falling, to stop breaking. Perhaps some day we can join the heavens and not have come down again. A child’s comfort, safe and full of wonder.


01-08-07

Darwin and Random Shite...its really not fair at all

ok so. not much is going on but i shall post a blog regardless :D... bunch o random shite :)
lemmmmme seeee. So. I graduate in May. Yeah i know, totally cool, kudos to me :D lol woohoo now im a dork with a degree... what else..oh i think we should pronounce yahoo "ya ho ho" much funnier that way, no? ho ho? lol jeez i crack myself up...oh btw i love the headliner on yahoho " Was Ferocious Dinosaur a Chicken?" Good God! its come true, the dreaded T Rex was merely a chicken pumped on steroids...i wonder how many home run records he holds...anyway though, thats a relief, next time im being chased by a T Rex ill just crush his self confidence " Go away you big chicken! pick on someone your own size!" That of course is after i get him into water....errrmm...but really i think thats unfair now! A chicken got to be a T Rex and all we got was monkeys! seriously, whos running this thing! Gosh! But for all you lizardkingaphobes, rest assured, we now know the dreaded chicken dance will bring this daunting poultry to its knees, which interestingly enough might make him (or her) fall on his (or her) head. If you can sing da da da da da da da, then no chicken, be he small or mighty, can disturb ye! You will prevail!...ok yeah....So if a tyrannosaurus rex lays an egg on the roof of a barn....i dont know....this puts a whole new spin on the Subservient Chicken... oh and btw, stay tuned for under species of "Gallus Domesticus" the entry, tyrannosaurus rex.
What else? oh " Lennon's Son Sells Rights to Pops Tunes"... Good Job Julian :) nice. I love how everyone owns the rights to the Beatles tunes, except the beatles themselves RIP JL. Seriously now, i love how MJ and im not talking about Michael Jordan (who btw is set to have the costliest divorce in history, Good Go MJ way to be a role model. ....wife:"I want half your fortune, and btw, you suck at basketball! Pffft wannabe, why cant you be more like John Stockton" Good Go, Good Go), owns the rights to Beatles music. Thats great. So every time we listen to a Beatles song, we pay for MJ to have all pedophile charges dropped....lalala Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous....*woohoo rock on*
Ok so enough about them eh? I could go on and on...that would be sort o' fun though...hmmm...so sad how nothing goes on. Except the weather...freaking gorgeous *knock on wood* oh and just for a kicker, since we're on the evolution bit of things : http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/chimpsspottedusingcaveslikeearlyhumans
Good Lord! an animal found shelter in cave! Crazy, its like planet of the Apes *shivers*... Again, i say we must have evolved from at least Bears right? They live in caves! i mean come on how fair is that : either way you swing it, the chicken gets off with the better deal *huge and scary lizard* to little chicken but * with feathers and wings* and all we get is an opposable thumb and good posture??!!! im calling the no fair police on this one....DAMN YOU SALAZAR!!!!!!

Disclaimer * i came up with all this crap on my own...no chickens were harmed in this experiment, except the one that realized it got the short end of the stick with the whole feathers and egg thing* *and no i didnt read this over, so excuse the sppppelllling misstakes, two s's ? i dunno* ok going to class now. Out.

04-13-07
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