Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Eve post not entitled "Why I Hate Christmas?"

And, this on Christmas Eve. I'm scheduled to work tomorrow night and in to Christmas morning. So, I'm fighting to stay awake as late as possible tonight to get ready for that shift. Here's an update (in convenient bullet points)

- My Gawd-awful full arm cast finally came off on Tuesday. I am currently very pleased with the shorter, pocket sized version that they gave me. It's been awesome being able to actually utilize my elbow again, and I wouldn't trade it for the world (I would, however, trade it for "no cast at all.") It's uncanny how little one appreciates elbows until one is without it for a month.

- Christmas time is here, though you don't need me to tell you that. That girl I can't stop thinking about and her beautiful outlook on life has convinced me that Christmas is really a beautiful thing. This is, of course, in stark contrast to my previous Christmas attitudes, when my comfort seemed wrapped up on condemning the deadly consumerism that Christmas feeds. I'm very much looking forward to 54 hours from now, when I get to see my family again, and see their faces when they open the gifts that I have found for them, hopefully feeling every bit of love that I have for each and every one of them.

- Plans are becoming a bit more concrete. Less than 150 days until I am TFO of the navy. Then, almost two weeks chasing kids around Colorado with YL, two subsequent weeks in South Africa for some FIFA World Cup action (go Korea!) then a week+ with the fam on a Reunion Road Trip across the country, then I sleep for a month. After I wake up, I'll be enrolling at Georgia State University for the fall semester, studying Applied Lingustics for as long as that takes me. Then, whatever: and I mean that from the deepest confines of my soul.

- I really, really miss my beard. I had to shave it off when I went back to work last week, and I've missed it ever since. 150 days, Mondo. 150.

Those are the big ones. Winter has very much found its way to Eastern Georgia, and brought with it all of its stigmas. Sorry if this is a bit monotonous and drawn out, but it is almost three in the morning. But, that's my life in a nutshell, so to speak. Solidarity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything is New


Here's something a little old school:

In a moment of insiration, thanks to Becca, I have put up some new songs on my myspace profile (I know, right?) Myspace seems like a thing of the past, but it remains the easiest and most widely used tool to share my music. So, check it out if you get a chance. Merry Christmas.

That Illusive Christmas Spirit

Christmas by Leona Naess

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back to Work



Man


Machine

The Well (Pablo)

At times you sink, you fall
into your hole of silence,
into your abyss of proud anger,
and you can scarcely
return, still bearing remnants
of what you found
in the depth of your existence.

My love, what do you find
in your closed well?
Seaweed, swamps, rocks?
What do you see with blind eyes,
bitter and wounded?

Darling, you will not find
in the well into which you fall
what I keep for you on the heights:
a bouquet of dewy jasmines,
a kiss deeper than your abyss.

Do not fear me, do not fall
into your rancor again.
Shake off my word that came to wound you
and let it fly through the open window.
It will return to wound
without your guiding it
since it was laden with a harsh instant
and that instant will be disarmed in my breast.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

On Joy

Not mine, but beautiful anyway:
So, I just finally finished Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis. And I wanted to quote him a little because I thought it rather pretty.

"Joy itself proclaimed 'You want - I myself am your want of - something other, outside, not you nor any state of you."
"For I understand that in the deepest solitude there is a road right out of the self, a commerce which...claims itself objective, desired." A desire not found in ourselves but in the Desired.
His entire young adult life was spurred by a search to find this Joy.
This feeling of "Oh, yes. This is how it's supposed to be."

"Joy was not a deception. Its visitations were rather the moments of clearest conciousness we had, when we became aware of our fragmentary and phantasmal nature and ached for that impossible reunion."
He said, like Plato's Allegory of the Cave (Lewis taught philosophy...so go figure), that we are all mere appearances of some Absolute.
Therefore somehow we have some root in this Absolute and Joy is that panging bittersweet longing to be united with this completeness.
It's really beautiful.

I always thought Joy meant being happy when you shouldn't be really. Using the classic example, Paul was locked away in prison but he had joy, or...he was happy?
So we -
we are to be happy when things are bad because we know that one day we will be happy in heaven.
I love that this is not true. Paul had joy because he was there in prison, with God. He was singing and sharing and laughing because he was rooted in the Absolute.
I heard a quote at Trinity the other day that has been one of my faves since the first time I heard it last year and it goes : "The only place that God can bless us is where we are (Richard Foster)." Or, more loosely "The only place God is working is where we are, right now."
C.S.Lewis also said Joy was unpredictable. It's not something you can look for and find, these moments. But it's rare and when it happens it's beautful.
So I've been rethinking mostly about when I have felt this Joy.
A month ago I would have said it's when I persevered when I had the flu really bad that one time, or when my friends stopped caring about me but I forgave them and it doesn't bother me.

But really. really, my whole life this has been going on. Joy has been:

Meeting people that love me from the start.
Laying in the grass in the mountains, especially when big billowing soft clouds sift through the tops of them.
A really good song that never gets old.
A not so good song that you can sing at the top of your lungs.
Merlot and pepperjack triscuits and late night futbol.
Three girls laying on a bed, eating cookie dough, and thinking everything is funny.
Dancing to Hey Mrs. Potter while cleaning off 400 tables full of dirty dishes.
Coffee in the morning with a good book.
Coffee in the morning with some pen and paper.
Coffee in the morning with a friend.
Being surrounded by books I've never read.
The dry orangey red mountains in Mexico.
The Fall. and I'll go ahead and say spring and summer and winter too.
Eating dinner with people, especially small groups of people.
Dancing when you don't know what you're doing, or what you might look like, but you do it anyways.
The sunshine.
Understanding baseball.
Botanical gardens.
People that I love.
Riding in a car with the boy I just love, to places like Charleston or Atlanta or St. Louis, or what have you.
Airports.
Plane rides, and plane rides while the sun sets.

I don't know if that's right, I just know that these are the times that I have felt "moments of clearest conciousness" where everything inside of me stirs with some longing for something beautiful and perfect and I feel it brush by me and all I can do is everything but hold on to it.
But it came, and it will come because we live in a world where Jesus is so very present and God is weaving in and out of the very being of ourselves.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A November Beard and a Cheerful Smile for all you Lovers out There



Dear Readers,
I'm sorry for the slew of non-personal blog posts of late. I've honestly sat down to type out something interesting that I've sen or heard or thought about several times over the last few weeks, but have been underwhelmed by my ability to capture it. Blogger's block, I suppose. All that to say, greener pastures of intelligent blog posting are soon to come, but for now, enjoy this picture of me, fully-bearded and smiling.

Sincerely,
Mondo