Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Recording Equipment

So I was on Ebay looking around, and I happened upon this auction for a whole bunch of recording equipment. I've wanted to try out home recording for some time and thought I'd never have the money to buy enough crap to actually do something decent with my music on my own. But here was this auction. I waited until about half an hour before the auction was over to place my bid. The shipping cost was like $95, and since I was willing to spend 1500, I placed my bid of 1400. I was at that time the top bidder at 1025, and I went out to eat with my family. When I got back, I found that I had won the equipment for 1380. If the last guy had bid $50 more, I would have lost the auction. Those kind of things make me wonder about stuff like fate. Was I meant to win? It just seemed too crazy that I had bid just enough to win the thing. If I had bid less, would I still have won? I don't know, I just find the questions interesting.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


To play Pinball is to experience one of the most acute feelings of powerlessness one can feel. I've been playing over much for the past two weeks, and I've actually gotten a couple crazy good scores. But even those few moents of triumph seem enough to remind me that all the work and 'skill' I put into getting them really meant nothing, for it seems all the more that I am simply at the mercy of the game. There is a large space where the ball can be flung around in all directions, with a great store of gizmos and do-hickeys all combining to decide my fate, while I sit with two little flippers, hoping beyod hope that if the ball happenst to come into their reach, I'll be able to put them into flight once again and send them once again far beyond my control. How many times has the ball been sent cruising right through the middle of my two flippers, almost as if it were trying to escape? How many times has it been sent down the side, been shot back up again, only to be sent down the side again to its death, without my ever having a hand in it? How many games have been started and lost with only one little flick of my little flipper to decide the whole thing for me. If you want to feel like you are an ant attempting to shove the whole world out of its orbit, play pinball. If you want to feel like all your efforts are futile and nothing you do, though you get a little better at what little it is you actually do, will ever change anything in the long run, then play Pinball.

Seriously, though, I fear that sometimes I feel the same way in life. A myriad of circumstances happen to me, and even my nature is limited so that my responses to those circumstances allow me but few choices. I tried playing the game as if I were trying my darndest to defeat fate or to last against circumstances, and I played the game as if resigned to my fate and whatever happened would happen. Either way, it didn't make much difference. Things still just happened to me. Sometimes I feel like that is how life is. If I face it with tenacity and fire or if I face it in resignation or acceptance, it still just happens. I don't knw, but It's put me in a foul mood for the last few days.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Excerpt from Robin Hobb's Fools Fate:

The White Prophet's premise seems simple. He wished to set the world in a different path than the one it had rolled on through so many circuits of time. According to him, time always repeats itself, and in every repetition, people make most of the same foolish mistakes they've always made. They live from day to day, giving in to appetites and desires, convinced that what they do does not matter in the larger scheme of things.
According to the White Prophet, nothing could be further from the truth. Every small, unselfish action nudges the world into a better path. An accumulation of small acts can change the world. The fate of the worldcan pivot on one man's death. Or turn a different way because of his survival.

This is why I really love fantasy. Because in the midst of all this fatntastical, mystical, otherworldly adventure, there is often a heart of thought that either causes me to think differently about the world or resonates with what I've been thinking about already. A good fiction writer doesn't just write fun stories. They connect with life, with our continual struggles with fate and purpose and hardship and doubt.
With all my musings about every single thing mattering, I thought to take the implication of that. This reminded me that, not only does every little thing I do count and matter and so demand a disciplined and vigilant life response, but every good thing that I have done is one to be treasured. I don't need to be famous or to amaze thousands of people with what I can do or say in order for my life to have purpose in this world. Every good thing I do and have done has been meaningful. Every good thing I've done has mattered, and I should not cheapen the goodness that God has brought to my life by imagining that my life is meaningless.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Dream

I had a dream the other night, a few nights ago I think. Though I do not know if it bears any significance, I feel I should write it down, for every once in a while I have dreams of darkness, as I like to call them. It was pretty sudden, and it was not long after I had fallen asleep. I found myself blown down by a rushing wind, and I was in the house I grew up in, in the room that my brother and I shared. I was in the middle of the room on the floor, next to my dresser. Now that I think on it, it is astonishing that the room in my dream is just as I remember it in real life, when most of my dreams distort a lot of the details. There was malice in the wind that pushed me down, and I couldn't move and I could barely speak, and I could feel the darkness around me. As usually happens when I feel this, a kind of righteous anger brought my spirit awake, or at least that is what it seems happened, for I have no way of really defining it. I grunted through the dark wind that kept my mouth shut, but managed to mumble angrily, "Get out!" The darkness receded under my bed and back by the wall that I was facing and I saw a black image like a cat rush under my bed. But it did not leave. I stuggled to force commands out of my mouth, telling it to leave in the name of Jesus. When I finally managed to do so, for it took some time, I woke up, shaken, and it still took some effort of will to move my limbs around in my bed. That was it. I don't know if it means anything. If it was really a spiritual attack, I don't know why it was done, nor if it accomplished anything for anyone involved. If it was just a dream, I still don't know what brought it on. But I needed to write it down. So here it is. It was only about an hour since I had first went to sleep, and I thought that strange at the time, too.