Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why I like wearing coats

There are few things in life more beautiful than an unexpected goodness.

This past friday, I put on one of my favorite coats. As I donned the said coat, I was surprised at it's weight. I recalled that I have a bad habit of not emptying my pockets when I hang up my coats.

I found in the pockets:

item: Six Dollars in bills
item: 68 cents in change.
item: A heavy- tricorner Fender guitar pick
A receipt from Panda Express
A movie ticket stub

While the last two items were not particularly exciting, I was very happy indeed to discover the money and the pick.

I don't know about y'all, but I am plagued with a propensity to see the world as a dark place. . . Which the world can be sometimes. . . not because of the minor problems and annoyances that I sometimes want to whine about, but because of the reality of human sin and evil.

Like the Holocaust.

My teacher, Mr. Bartel, shared an anecdote a few weeks ago that made me wonder at how we look at the holocaust, and indeed at all evil.

We were sitting around a table in Shakespeare class, reading aloud outlines of our term papers. A paper on Shylock led us into a brief discussion on anti-semitism. Mr. Bartel remarked on the insight that Jewish scholars give to an understanding of anti-semitism.

"An old Jewish professor once told us: 'the holocaust is boring'. We sat in awkward silence and then asked 'Why do you say that, sir?' He said 'Well, yeah, it was a great evil, and lots of people died, but why would we be interested in that? It's evil. Evil is boring.

The Good is what should interest us."

Now, the goodness of rediscovered funds and guitar picks is but the slightest example of goodness; there is so much more in this world for which to live our lives, through which to seek glimpses of the greatest goodness Himself.

There's a lot wrong with this world; but neither wars nor protest marches solve it. Poetry cannot solve it, academic honesty cannot solve it.

This world will never be set right, or even make any significant change for the better, until people learn to seek goodness above all else.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Angered at time zones and retreats

It's a sort of terrible irony that sometimes, when we need to talk to someone, it becomes impossible to do so.

Right now, I find myself in need of conversation. . .

of real conversation.

with a real person, not an electronic fiction designed to represent them.

Not even the lovliest or most lifelike of photographs.

Not even the electronic vibrations masquerading as a human voice. . .

To speak to another human being, to know that they not only comprehend the thread of your conversation, but also that they understand and empathize, that they catch the look in your eyes, the "otherness" and "sameness" communicated by stance, by that way you fold your hands. . .

so much is presence.

Okay, so this is ridiculous and emo. so shoot me. I may be glad of a second death.
(Understand that I am simply being flippant and silly and, while I am contemplating my future and T.S. Eliot, that is all I am contemplating. . .)

The point is, I need to talk to someone right now, and an electronic fiction, horrid though it be, would suffice. But Alas! those with whom I wish to speak are otherwise occupied. . .my dearest Sister is sleeping, since there's this whole "time-difference" thing between L.A. and Virginia (crazy, right?) and it seems that all my other close friends are at a church retreat.

And for those who are left, even Facebook has stopped working!


I love spring in California. I love every season in California(though I sometimes wish winters were harsher and summers less so), and the past few weeks have been very grateful for the emancipating feeling of sunset and gentle breeze that so epitomizes spring in California. . . but sometimes it can be too emancipating.

The one thing I hate most about spring and summer in Cali is the whole spring-and-summer evening feeling, a sort of openess in the cool air.

But the openess seems too open. . .as if the expanse never ends, more like hell than heaven.

I walked outside, and predictably, it was one of those nights. The very stars and moon were cold, and for once, Orion seemed to shake his spear at me. . .