Monday, November 08, 2004

spilling my guts

i wrote this after seeing the movie garden state. i know that i posted something the next day at the library similar to this, but this is what i wrote when i came home. it's pretty raw, and so i'm not sure what anyone will think of it. i say that because i'm not sure what i think of it. in the original version i swore twice, and right now i'm trying to decide if i keep those in., i don't think so. i don't know what i'll do with them, make them socially acceptable to christians by changing them to things like "darn," or make them the same only without the letters by using symbols. maybe i'll find the meaning and see if i can't use other words. also, i'm debating whether to leave in the most personal thing i would have ever posted on here...again, i don't know whether to do it or not. i think not. we'll see. i'm not telling you my final decision on that one. without further ado, here is something i wrote a while back:

i think i’m beginning to understand what it feels like to be suicidal.

that’s not to say that i want to end my life, which seems like the proper meaning of the statement. i think it has something to do with desperation—a feeling that i’m not living at all, just surviving—and not knowing how to act on it.

so instead of wanting to end my life, i want to truly begin it. no more surviving. i can’t stand this going to work, making a little bit of money, wondering why i’m not doing something else, thinking about people from wheaton or from roseburg or from God knows where else, all the while not thinking about home because the only home is the idea of being with these people. for the most convoluted sentence i’ve written so far tonight, that one may hold the most meaning. of course i’m ripping off garden state, which i just saw…alone. and i’m also ripping off some of stanley hauerwas’s ideas about community. but the last time i was back in roseburg i said that it wasn’t really going home, it was going to roseburg. and when i visit wheaton soon it won’t be going home either: it will be going back to wheaton. but when i’m with luke i’m home. when i’m with eric and alec and griff in wheaton i’ll be home. when i’m with julie or ashley or jacob or aj or val or krispin or my parents or any number of other people in roseburg i’m home. when i'm with my brother or patrick who-knows-where i'm home. the question, then, is why can’t i be home right now?

maybe i can’t be home right now because i’m alone. but i’m in the apartment that i’ve paid for—this isn’t some place i’m living in for free, some hostel that’s allowed me to mooch off it’s benevolence. no, it’s much more like a motel room: a place i can stay for a few months while i figure everything out. but, in all honesty, it won’t be figured out when the lease runs out in six months time. no, i’ll be as confused/undecided/content-to-not-know/ready-to-find-out/messed up as ever. what will i do then? if i go back to roseburg i could survive a while longer working at the mill so that i can pay for grad school. if i go to honduras i could risk everything to see a friend i sometimes think i love, but who is very busy actually living. maybe that’s the trick: if i go there, i’ll have to live. there’s no surviving in honduras except for really living, because the former will just wear you down until you can’t keep it up anymore. i think that’s "the power of one" coming through, bryce courtney’s words and ideas being eschewed by me as my own. that’s the trick; maybe i’ll go to south africa. i think there are too many tricks in the last few sentences, because there really isn't any trick to figuring all of this out.

the problem still persists: when will i ever be home? of course there’s the nice christian answer, and one that i sometimes believe—and wish i believed this very second—that i’ll truly be home when i’m in heaven with God. but even when i look for that, i can’t picture it. i can’t taste it. i don’t think it’s like what many preachers say, that we get a taste of heaven when we’re worshipping God together. i think i got a taste of heaven tonight watching garden state, because it showed me what looked like real love, and real choices to make love work. as a human with a finite grasp and no real understanding of the immensity of God, his gift to us of love-for-each-other is the thing that most makes me think of heaven. at it’s best this sort of love is a reflection of God’s character. i don’t believe that there can be an “at it’s worst” of real love-for-each-other, because if it's real, i mean really real, the way God intends us to love, then it can't be done badly.

1 comment:

Krispin Mayfield said...

I finally had the time to update myself on your latest postings.

Strange that we each came to the same conclusions right around the same time... but then again, not. This past weekend was an incredible sort of 'wake up' to life- those guys really motivated and inspired me to really be 'living.'

Not that it's any surprise, but I really strongly agree with you about the idea of heaven being different than rows of chairs sit in by people singing. I know, that's not what they're talking about- but I really believe that such community, friendship, oneness is a great 'taste of heaven' (as they say).

I should to watch a movie tonight. It's probably a horrible thing, but I find that more than once it's been movies that have inspired me. (an example would be the general feeling I got from How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days that inspired me to work out each night for two months, until I came back to the States. Okay, that was a horrible example. Let's try that again. An example would be when I watched Dead Poet's Society and the fall colors and gray skies stood out to me like never before.)

Okay, this is just sounding like one of those attempts at 'coolness by association.'

It was moving, I related immensely.