Sunday, December 23, 2007


I don't know why it helps to think of the world as vast, to picture the universe and me inside it, a small insignificant fraction of a blip on the radar of existence. But it does help. It helps remind me that "these light and momentary troubles" are just that: light, momentary: a blip on my own eternal radar, even less in the scope of the whole of time and space. To know that this solitary foot steps in the path of all, that when my time is passed, no great amount of suffering will have marred the beauty of the whole of creation.

Sometimes, usually when I pray, I experience a feeling of smallness. Everything around me suddenly feels incredibly far away, like we are all stars in the void of space. But it is very strange, because it is not a lonely feeling. Because we are all stars in space... there is nothing between us. We all just... are. And we're all part of something, swirling around in the outer limits, making our own little eddies in the fabric of creation, isolated, yet connected, light traveling back and forth in a million threads of peaceful connection. Not only is it helpful to realize that I am nothing, in the scope of eternity, infinity, but it is incredible to step out in that nothingness of space, and find that I am truly connected to all. When I go about my day, I realize, I am not just me, for I am nothing, but I am embarking on the journey of God's creation, and I become part of something much greater than myself. At the risk of sounding like a Buddhist, I become everything when I realize that I am nothing. Maybe it's just a feeling. I'm not trying to form doctrine or anything. I'm just describing how it's helpful, not thinking of my own silly trivial life, self-absorbed in my own problems and wallowing in deep-seated discontent. Thank God for making me smaller than dust. Thank God for setting my feet on his path and letting me join into something much bigger, infinite, supreme. Thank God.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Earth-Shattering Dialogue... Or something

I wanted to post something new. Something mind-blowing. Something... earth-shattering. It seems like the closest I can get right now is... I... I can do a Rubik's Cube.

Yeah... I'm also fascinated by the political races for the presidential primaries, Rep. and Dem. Maybe it's just that it's big news right now, and they're making much more of it than they used to. But maybe it's just because I was clueless four years ago and eight years ago about the presidential primaries. Or maybe it's because now I have cable news shows like MSNBC and FOXNews, who seem to talk about these events more. But it is fascinating... sometimes it's rather silly. The ups and downs in the polls and the people talking about those said ups and downs. It's fascinating how so much of this is based on image and marketing. Huckabee keeps rising in the polls in Iowa, and why? Image. Clinton keeps falling in her polls. Why? Image. How well do we know these characters? How closely do we study their policies, their record. How well do we understand the ideologies behind those policies, with all their nuances? I mean it's one thing to say that this candidate stands for such-and-such an issue, like getting out of Iraq, and this one doesn't. But how well do we know what they're going to do? Most people seem to want to get out of Iraq, but most voters don't seem to know or really care how. I mean, even McCain wants to get out of Iraq, but he wants to win first. Do people who say we should just get out and get out now, actually sit down with experts and analyze the long-term international impact of such a move? Do they consider how exactly that should be done? Do they know what each candidate is going to actually do to get that done? The way I see it, most people just look at a candidate's image, and they mistakenly think that that image has something to do with his/her capability to be president.

Anyway, that's my political rant for the day.

Next up, books.

I started reading "The Idiot" some time ago, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I'm about halfway through it right now, and I must confess, though I was at first fascinated, I soon became quite bored. I'm guessing it will turn out something like The Brothers K, in the sense that it will suddenly get really good around page 600, and I won't be able to put it down then, but for now, I might have to switch to another book and come back to it later.

Speaking of books that get boring in the middle, how is it that such books becamee such amazing classics. You can't write a book that's so boring that people won't care to finish it and still be successful in today's book-saturated environment, so how did guys like Dostoevsky make it? I'm writing a book myself, and I'm really trying to make it less boring in the early/middle stages, because it gets really good later on, and I know it does, because I've read through it (making revisions) a couple of times now. Do I have the talent of such greats as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Dickens? I think it's possible, but how would anyone find out. I actually don't think these guys would stand much of a chance in today's market. I don't know. We'll have to see. Back to work on my pet project.

Monday, December 03, 2007

United States of Tears

Several days ago, Cassie and I watched "The United States of Leland," and something in that movie has been bugging me ever since. It's a decent movie, and it asks a lot of hard questions. It doesn't really provide answers, either. The main guy struggles with life, because of how much suffering and pain and bad feeling there is in it, and one thing he says in the movie just really bothered me. He talked about how people pray and it doesn't change anything and how people cry and it doesn't change anything. He was really despairing at the time, so maybe you can forgive the movie, but it never provides for the other option - namely, maybe prayer does do something. And what'd more interesting to me at this particular moment - maybe TEARS do change things. I think of how we perpetuate our bad feelings sometimes, how we build up anger or sorrow or pain inside of ourselves, and I remember those times that I've cried, I mean really cried, and reflecting on it now, I realize there is some strange healing power in tears. There is a mystical energy in weeping, one that Jesus understood well, one that the writers of the Hebrew scriptures knew well, from the Torah to Lamentations to the minor prophets. I don't think it's something we need to be about all the time, but I truly believe that if we were free to listen to those weeping urges, maybe we'd be a lot more happy.

I don't really know what exactly I think about all that. I don't always feel the need to cry, but when I do, it just seems like a real shame to hold it all back. It just seems like maybe it's our bodies' way of getting rid of all those bad feelings inside. And sometime we build up so much of it, we just have to let it out. I remember when I watched "The Passion of the Christ," I sat through the whole thing, just taking it all in, every ounce of suffering, every bit of pain and sorrow. Afterwards, I went into my car and I bawled my eyes out for five minutes before I could leave the parking lot. Mostly, I remember how good that felt. I don't know why we feel so ashamed of our tears. Maybe it's right that we are, maybe it's supposed to be intimate, private, personal. I just think it is really sad that anyone could think that tears don't help.

I'm writing a new story. I've only told Cassie about it so far, but I nearly believe that it's an inspired idea. I plan on bringing in this bit about tears as part of the story. I've only written four pages of it, but I'm already excited. I'm praying for God's guidance bigtime on this one, because I really believe in it. Anyway, those are my thoughts this late evening. Time to go to bed.