Thursday, September 30, 2010

Such a Time as This

" This is what happened during he time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 providences stretching from India to Cush." Esther 1:1

I am 3 weeks into a study on Esther. A book many parents and children from age 3 to 38 who enjoy watching Veggie Tales know the story of Esther and how she was a young Jewish Orphan girl who became the Queen of Persia, the most powerful country of it's time. The book, although included in the Bible, does not account for the hand of God, that name of God, or even the mention of even a pagan god that they worshiped in those times. I guess we can assume that the only god in the territory of Xerxes, was Xerxes. Just because the book doesn't mention God in printed material of the book, is doesn't mean His hand was not in situation and moment, if you look carefully. This is the genius and the relate-ability to the book for someone like me or you, who don't live in times where God speaks through burning bushes, hands us a set of rules on two slabs of tablet and uses a donkey to send us direct messages from the horses mouth, sort to speak. (Although I've had a lot of asses speaking their non-sense to me regardless).

This Study came at "such a time as this" for me. At a time where I am wondering what I will do in this mundane life of mine and questioning how much more of a caged bird will I be once the baby arrives. At a time where nothing seems important or meaningful, especially living in the suburbs of Chicago, surrounded by conversations that only include diaper change, gardening and BBQs on summer weekends. Not that those things are evil or worthless in itself, but I imagine that we should be living for something more or that we should be going on some kind of crusade to save the world. It's at a time when I am struggling with the existential crisis of living day to day only to please one self and it's frustrating to me.

I am thankful for Esther in showing me that although it seems the book is filled with antics of a insecure and over indulgent king who will keep the masses lulled in a drunken stupor by throwing lavish parties, and the beauty treatments that extends for twelve months at a time, that when you are obedient, God will give you meaning and purpose for you. Although only three weeks in and all we've studied are parties, beautiful queens and the beauty treatments a king's concubine will go through before presented to the king, I see that even up to this point, God has been planning all along. I'm even thinking to myself, when is this study going to begin? All we've talked about were parties, girls and drunkin men and although that sounds like a lot of fun in other contexts, I thought we were suppose to be learning someting here. However, just like the 12 months of beauty treatments Esther endured of ointments and bath salts, not quite knowing what will happen after a year long preparation, I will wait on the Lord. Show me, Show me what you will do in mine.

13Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Forgetting How to Hug

H comes home from his classes and like a first grader, he rattles off all things that went on in school that day and what he's been learning. I'm glad to see that he's learning so much and is excited about the contents. While listening to his ramblings about classmates that look like certain celebrities and professors who are big dogs at some big dog company, he mentioned something that caught my mind's eye. A professor in this particular course had asked all of his students to log on (or sign up in my husband's case) to facebook for all of their assignments and additional class discussions.

This course claims that by 2015, the social media, like Facebook and Twitter will take over most of the interactions we have with one another and he further mentioned that one of his gay friends would rather eat dinner with his friend, not at a restaurant they will go together, but via skype! Yes, one man eating his own dinner at his own dining room table, and the other man eating his plate of spaghetti on his own couch at his own home. This way, you'll only have to dress in a shirt in a tie from waist up and be in your oldest, thinnest boxers from the waist down, you just need to remember to log off before you get up to put away your dishes.

I am already lamenting the days when Facebook, my space, and twitter, and texting became the norm of social interaction. I already see that sitting at home texting and facebooking your friends will be favored over getting out of your strawberry short cake PJ's, get into some jeans and a white tee, get into your car and drive over to the nearest Starbucks for a chat with your friends over a mocha frap. Yes, we can no longer be bothered to put some clothes on to see a friend face to face at a physical brick and mortar establishment.

Lately, I've noticed that people don't know how to give a hug or even shake someone's hand. It's awkward like they've not touch another human being in several full moons. Although, it makes me think about how we took the arduous time to hand write a letter in the days of yore and it seems two lovers in the time of Shakespeare, that's all it took to get a marriage going and thus lived happily ever after. Is texting and gchatting too lighting fast that it doesn't mean that much? Is it just exchanging information and the relationship you think you're building is just a house of cards? I shutter to think that all this time, keeping in touch with old friends and continuing to get to know people over social media is all a waste and the house of cards indeed will shift and come crashing down.

Not that you will know your friends less, but you yourself are less and less connected to people on a genuine level. I have read numerous blog entries just today, writers who's location range from Australia back to the States are expressing their melancholy and I truly believe that it's because we engage in virtual conversations and we really only see words on a screen instead of the warm pool of brown that is the eyes of a friend who tells me random stories that I haven't heard about her yet. It's proven by studies I can't produce specific names to, that the community of Calcutta, although stricken by extreme poverty are the happiest people and fulfilled in ways we are not. They have the every day support and face to face connection with one another that there is nothing called depression for no reason at all, or a bad day that lasts too long to call it a bad day.

I've seen some pictures of myself and obviously I was there with the people I'm smiling next to, but I can't remember where I was and when the picture was even taken. We are so caught up the virtual fast past of digital pictures, gchats, emails, texts that we aren't really in the moment experiencing it so that we would actually have memories of days of yore. I'm not saying that these technologies are all to waste and are inherently evil, there are many a day brightened up by a text from friend in a far away land, but we mustn't replace our relationship with flesh and blood with one of keyboards and monitors. wanna go for some coffee?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good TV Turned Bad Movie

I feel like my writing has been like that of a sitcom on T.V., where the show came out with such newness and a breath of fresh air. As if the writers have been toiling and clawing their way into the writing spotlight to get a run in the mill of prime time T.V. and finally when they've made it you can see that they are like the new kid in school that everyone wanted to be friends with. The first season ends with a finale that is to die for and we are all waiting in anticipation for the next season to come around for more of what you've been so enjoying. Then, the second, third season rolls around and although there was a pinnacle of that show, where everyone is talking about "have you seen such and such a show" during dinner parties, buddies quoting and re-enacting funny parts and pasting youtube clips of it on your friends' facebook with a caption that says, "remember this?" There is a let down from all that and unlike the Cosby Show, which has always been good to the very last episode it ran, all sitcoms and favorite shows begin a slow decline in what was so quality and fresh about it. This is where my writing is going down a slow and steady decline, I fear.

Today, I read over the first blog entries that I posted and they seem so effortless and I remember at the time when I was writing the posts, I didn't think so much about what I was writing, but I was just eager to let out my frustrations, random thoughts and musings I had during the day. I don't know when I started thinking about my audience, but it's as though I told out Hollywood and my hit cable television show became some kind of over the top movie that had no continuity or the same novelty as the syndicate it started off as. It's like I keep making this bad sequel after sequel, hoping that this flop in quality will be masked by the sheer quantity. I suppose hearing people talk about how my last post was good and how they can "totally relate to it" would cause me to realize that people are actually reading the crap I post on this thing.

But whatever the season I'm in, I can't make it up. If I'm in a funk, I'm in a funk, if I am in blissful contentment then I am, and I need to go back to the roots, this is my blog and mine only and I have no responsibility to anyone that follows. I'm sorry, but this is a reminder to me and to you. Amen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Reason to Sing

It's amazing and difficult to comprehend how the black slaves in America ever became followers of Christ considering their masters' hypocrisy and cruelty. To see pass their inequities and hatefulness and see the real Jesus and to produce such music in their position of utter hopelessness and slavery under such heavy boots. The enslaved in America had no reason to sing at all, they should not have been creating music of any sorts, let alone beautiful and hauntingly medicating music that is deeply healing to anyone in jeopardy or in need of soothing from the world. How are we, human beings, in times of pain and suffering capable of creating such beauty? Why is it that when we are in utter hopelessness, that we create from that dark pit, masterpieces and bodies of art that is most revered?

Just like pain in deliverance of a babe, at the end of such physical turmoil, there is life. Reformation after being jailed, really living life and relishing it after being so close to death, super heroes rising up with second wind after a good beat down, forgiveness and salvation for the world and worlds to come after the grueling death of Christ Jesus. Beauty seems to rise even more precious and powerful, glittering in our eyes when it rises from dust, no. ashes when there is evidence that there was burning of some sort, a break down that was so detrimental and jarring, that there is only black ash where there was a city, a building, a precious cloth, a person.

Is it just fight or flight, where in our most base animal instinct, we either make it by turning out ashes to beauty, or is it that we just die in those ashes, until our bodies soon join in the nothingness of the remains? That only explains why we would turn out morning into celebrating, to save ourselves, but it doesn't explain why such downfall would create in us, creation, productivity, beauty, life, and the wonders we know of, like the Mona Lisa, the Hymn Amazing Grace, the Sistine Chapel ceilings and molten chocolate cake. It seems, God has put in every human being a way to heal itself, heal it's soul. So that in our total depravity we can see God and beauty, that even the depths of despair we are redeemed and we are not perpetuating darkness and death.

Maybe I am far to focused on the human aspect of suffering and what we can produce in such peril. Perhaps, I should turn my attention to God, who would be the Creator and the perfecter of our faith, where everything and anything good comes from Him. Could it be that although, human beings were made in His image to create and make beautiful things like He did the earth, when we are in our darkest hour, and we are very attune to our maker, he can make out of us, masterpieces? That when we have nothing and hopeless, the whole work fades away along with our confidence in our own abilities and completely and utterly depend on the Lord, we see his face and there is nothing more inspiring than that. So, in out of our darkness, we produce light because that is what is channeled out of us who have become empty shells. Then what is made in the physical world we call beautiful, like melodies, lyrics, art, poems, words, is the manifestation of God's beauty for us to see.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blogging when I'm Blue

I think that my blogging is by in large fueled by a pool of "blueness." Lazy and lukewarm and all the words just seem to line up on their own without a trace of effort or toil, they just come seeping out of my finger tips. When I'm blue (and by counting the "good" blogging days I've had it's quite numerous for a girl of such blessings) it's like I'm in a state of emergency of just wanting to get the sadness out. Sometimes, under a trance, the kind you see in an old black and white movie performed by evil doctors and I'm in a white night gown, with my hair in disarray and I don't blink for about 20 minutes. This trance however is led by my own guidance motivated to find a reason or a remedy to all that Blue, to lead me here again, writing it down. You can say it's like that irritant in a clam shell that produces pearls. Although, I'm not quite sure how many of my entries I can actually call a pearl.

My written words come fast and with guns blazing when I'm angry and livid with righteous commentary on social and humanitarian rants or just plain annoyances. These are the times I look back at my writing and see that I had written with such force and vigor, you can almost see the imprints of each of the letters on to the virtual paper and it's hard to erase those flaming words from anyone's memory, so you just leave it up in resignation to the words already said. I can see that my writing, when I'm angry, combusts into witty and funny refrains of indignation, it's almost comedy that ends up as the final product instead of an outlet of lava that's been building up in my veins looking for a way out. This I would call the big bang theory of writing, a heap of angry aimless molecules boom into what is orderly and intricate.

There are those few times though, when I see the beauty in the people know (and dont know) and the places I've been, and it's the most beauteous and memorable. Those times, I cannot take credit, or the blame for what I've written, it purely comes from what God has impressed in my heart and seared in my soul. Even then, I am desperately looking for a way to express it and share, it has to be written, so that we can always remember what life was like. Sometimes blue, sometimes blazing red and there were times of sanguine optimism that kept us sane.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ideals, Idols and Impressions

"The idol is so superficially desirable, spectacular, witty, happy that he or she merely supplies a context for fantasy and therefore, instead of inspiring, lulls. The idol is based on the appearance of perfection; but never on the striving towards it." -John Berger

Everyone eventually comes down when they're up. Unless you're Jesus, you will bruise and destroy all you will come in to contact with. If you do not erode a relationship with intent, you will soon wound that one you love without even knowing it. Even the one that you held oh so high on a pedestal, one that would be the be all and end all, will be your foot stool soon.

You'll get it over it you know, you will soon find that the one you thought to be god or goddess, you'll get over it. You will soon see that the person with all of the romance, the idealism will soon be exposed as cumbersome and mundane. You'll stop chasing and seeing them in the light you once did, because you'll soon see, they're just like you. one leg, second leg, pull pants up, just like everyone else.

That once red balloon filled up with fresh gust of helium floats away with bounce and hurried flight, will return to you wrinkly and dejected, rolling about on the pavements like a tumble weed. You barely noticed how it got there, you barely notice the ribbon attached, suggesting that it once took flight, but forgetting that this balloon ever flew at all.

This balloon, once coveted, decorated, entertained and grappled at, this balloon, once flown away, a child somewhere cried, will be remembered in it's full glory that is short lived. Fast and furious is the love of a child, but fast and furious it will die. After all, it's full of hot air.

Role model, a hero is that of sustenance and lasting measure, but a dreamy ideal, a glittering idol is just lust and will not make an impression to last one breath.