02 November 2008

(desperately writing to live)

The world spins, right? Life goes on. Time and distance dull the aches and pains. But there are aches and pains that remain, hidden under years and miles, waiting to reappear in all their former glory. And this is life. Hiding behind smiles. A facade of happiness to cloak the pain. We laugh because it hurts and laughing somehow relieves the ache, even for the tiniest moment. If smiles and laughter are hard to find, we turn to methods with which they can be induced. Drugs, alcohol, sex. Only further perpetuating the deepest pain. For loneliness is the deepest pain. We are placated by work, TV, movies, the internet, but the connections are lost. We miss the people as they pass. Our words are hollow, hurried, harried. With our actions we tell one another there is no time for you, only me. We don't really want to know how you are doing, how the kids are. We only want return to our menial tasks. Our routine. The routine that increases loneliness. It is the disease we rarely know we have. Sure, it springs upon us after a breakup or a death, but we seldom realize that it is caused by our society. Always hurry. All about money. And fun. But you cannot buy someone's love, their time, a deep connection. That takes time and patience and pain. It is not fun. To truly know someone we must become vulnerable. We must trust. But we are cowards. We hid behind our bluster, defining ourselves by what we do. We lose who we actually are. We lose sight of the things that matter. We are emotionally dead. Or is that just me?

11 August 2008

Forrest Gump, Iggy Pop and being Twelve

Life, as they say, is like a box of chocolates. But I'll draw the simile out differently. You see, life is like chocolate. And I crave chocolate. Any kind really. It is my addiction. My love. It also has the tendency to give me a stomach ache because I cannot stop eating after I've started. Life is like that. I have, like Iggy Pop, a 'lust for life.' At least I like to think so. I love to experience different aspects of life. I love to experiment. I love to go through the changes. However, it often hurts. Way more than chocolate.

As a recent graduate from a conservative Christian university, I feel as though I've been trapped in a box. There is little I can do with my degree. In fact, I haven't had a job all summer. I just sell DVDs on Half.com. This will change though.

Last week I moved out of university housing for the 5th and last time. It was actually rather painful. I spent four years of my life there. I met many good people and left behind a few great people. We always say we'll keep in touch. We still live in the same metro area. But we all know how hard it really is. Classes and jobs get in the way. The distance is further than the person down the hall, less accessible.

This summer was both the best and worst of my life for reasons I will not detail here. I'd like to say I grew up. But if that's true it happened despite a constant desire to be twelve again. Yet here I am, living in a house in Denver. I haven't had to ask my parents for anything more than a mattress. I feel like I can do this whole 'real life' thing. Perhaps I'm just cocky or high on paint fumes. But I feel confident (today) that I can get a job, pay rent, hang out with all the important people in my life, and even maybe write a little.

Tomorrow, I will probably be sobbing, wishing I was twelve, and resisting even beginning to think about starting to look for a job.

Did I mention it's weird as hell that for the first time in 16 years I'm not preparing for school to begin?

11 March 2008

Realism is Depressing

I feel so overwhelmed by the pessimism that surrounds my studies. Not studies in general, but my area of study. As a Global Studies major, I am inundated with the statistics. Millions starve around the world. Human rights are constantly violated. Wars erupt. Corruption is rampant.

And here I sit. Affected only through study. I feel useless. I can do nothing. I cannot help. And sometimes I wonder if I should. Sometimes I wonder if it is not just for the best that humanity annihilates itself.

I get too much negative. I know all the bad things. But I do not know how to help. I feel that I cannot possibly help in light of the numbers. Nothing I ever do will dent the statistics. I am powerless.

I am generally an idealist. Envisioning a bright future. Vowing to love where I can and do everything I can to help everyone. (When my apathy does not take over.)

But I know I can never love enough. I can never change the world.

My head knows that a little helps. Perhaps I cannot help everyone, but I can help someone. I can change the world for one person.

But it is hard to reconcile my head and my heart. My heart is sore. My heart mourns and will not listen to reason. My heart is heavy and dragging me down.

How do I reconcile realism and idealism? How do I affect the world positively when everything tells me the world is going to hell?

How do I move past this?

22 January 2008

The Problem of Evil: God's Justice in the World

I have had doubts that God is all together good. I have been to one of the largest slums in the world. I have seen the suffering in the eyes of children and adults alike. Evil is allowed rampant in the world.

I have wondered "why is God doing nothing?" when children suffer, when tribes war, when bombs drop.

Recently I have come to the realization that, as a Christian, I am part of God's body. The church is the extension of God on this earth. It is not that God cannot act, or will not act, it is that his people will not care enough to act.

So the question becomes "why are we doing nothing?" and even "why am I doing nothing?"

We sit in our luxury, theorizing about God, justice, love; complaining about everything from the temperature of the t-bone to the corruption of the government of any given nation. We sit, we think, we complain when it is our responsibility to carry out God's promise to everyone.

I hope to continue in this vein at a later date. So, more to come, hopefully.

09 January 2008

Kenya et al

Current events: US primary elections, feet of snow, school starts Monday, payday on Friday, oh, and Kenya is falling apart.

I'll start at the beginning and then skip to the end.

The US Presidential campaigns sicken me. It is important to hear from those that wish to bid for the role, but why so much money is needed is way beyond me. The amount of money spent by each of the candidates during the period before the actual election is more money than many smaller economies produce in a year. Millions of dollars, gone. What do we see of it? Only a few people raised above the rest for everyone's consideration. I'd like to care, but it sickens me. I think I'll vote for Bono.

So while this goes on, and on, and on, Kenya just underwent an election. Sort of. Well, the people voted all right, but the votes were apparently not counted correctly and the incumbent president will not give up his power. All those people who eagerly voted became a bit angry when the tantalizing options offered to them were suddenly taken away. They became violent. It's in the news, sometimes. I do not have television, but I've seen it in a few local papers, in the middle section, the two pages of world news. Kenya had a fourth of a page one time, with a photo. The violent, upheaval type of photo.

That is not the Kenya I know. The Kenya I visited last summer was far from perfect (what isn't?), but was a sort of home away from home. It was not the peacefulness, because I did not consider it. It was not the comparatively good economy that only allowed for small margins of corruption. It was the people. They are who I think of. They are the home I found there. I do not so much worry about the tribal violence that has ensued. I worry about my friends who are forced to stay indoors where it is safe. They are unable to venture out for food and other necessities. The inflation in Kenya has taken off as well, making whatever money they do have worth so much less. For people barely making enough as it was previously, that is very nearly a death sentence. I think of the small businesses that The 10/10 Project has helped to establish. I know these people, scraping a living from the poorest parts of their country. Helping their community, strengthening the bonds of humanity. That is all shattered now. People, torn from one another; forced into hiding. Many dead. Homes and businesses burned and looted. It rends my heart.

The Kenya in the news these past weeks is not the Kenya I know. The Kenya I know is comprised of the many faces of lovely people who eagerly welcomed me into their homes; who fed me until I could eat no more; who loved me, and taught me to love.