It’s Thursday.

April 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Today in one of my classes, we had a slam poet, Andrea Gibson, come and talk with us/do some poems/generally be awesome. It was fantastic, and inspiring. It inspired me to do some thinking…and so I think I’m going to write it down a little bit.

As I was walking to Op Shop, there was a cloud shaped just like a giant penis floating above the admin. I chuckled, and then thought about clouds, and how they can be anything we see in them. And they’re constantly shifting–the wind will turn that phallus into a shoe, or a rhino, or anything at all.

I thought about what it means to be a man. And then, what it means to be a woman. And I didn’t come to any good conclusions, but I feel like maybe we should think more about what it means to be human, and roll with that. How can we get beyond what we are now…how can we shed our preconceived notions of how the world works and get to the truth that’s already in front of us?

How does the world look different if Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is slam poetry?

How can I be buried under the weight of a million little stresses, and still be here writing instead? How can I lose myself in a song for an instant and have the world go away–how can I live in that moment as it’s happening instead of worrying about the past and the future and everything I can’t control right at that moment?

How can I love everyone, even the people that hate me or the people that bother me or people I don’t know; those that haven’t been born yet and those that are long gone?

I’m sitting here, listening to the Carpenters (don’t give me that look), being actually somewhat productive, and thinking.

Thinking is a little bit dangerous, but as we’re told, the unexamined life isn’t worth living. That doesn’t mean the examined life is easy, or fun.

That’s my brain at the moment…I will leave you with these haiku (I just found out haikus isn’t actually a word–who knew?) I wrote in class yesterday about Paul.

Paulkus

Paul was a jew.

Bam, Jesus. Not anymore!

This class is quite long.

Did Paul write this stuff?

How should I know? I’m twenty.

Paul uses not haikus.

Sweet rhetorician.

Paul keeps his pimp hand strong, yo.

Brothers and sisters.

Galatians angry.

Corinthians, not so much.

Romans is longest.

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Easter

April 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s Easter!

What exactly does that mean to a nonbeliever, though? I mean, Jesus is the man. But as someone who sort of rejects his divinity, I’ve always struggled to reconcile this notion of resurrection with my own thoughts. Jesus died…for our sins, maybe, to appease those in power, almost certainly, but did he come back? That’s the crux of it all, and that’s where one takes Christianity from a moral perspective to a theological dogma. Dogma is perhaps a strong word, but believing in God bringing someone back to life is certainly something that one has to believe strongly–not a lot of room for compromise.

I like to think of today as I think of many “holy” days…a time for reflection on what I believe, how to be tolerant and loving of others, and recognize that for some this is an important piece of who they are and how they see the world. People are allowed to believe anything they want! And I’ll tell you what, I love candy more than most. I’m all about the cadbury eggs and chocolate bunnies. However, I’m not going to lie to anyone and tell them I think that Jesus really did die for their sins, or mine. Maybe he did, and I’m wrong. If that’s the case, then I’m screwed…maybe. I don’t know how merciful God would be with me.

In any case, I think it important to reflect today on the kind of life Jesus lived, especially for those of us who don’t believe. What kind of life is worth living, what is the right way to live, and how can be better humans in general? Jesus was all about helping the poor, healing the sick, and extolling a way of life that said the kingdom of heaven is right here, inside you. He says, repeatedly, that money (and the pursuit of economic gains at the expense of others) is a hindrance to salvation. I wonder how much people think about that? Money is nice, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not the most important thing, or even near the top of the list.

Maybe remember that next time you gripe about welfare, food stamps, or social security. You might have to pay a little more in taxes, but consider the moral imperative we have been charged with. Blessed are the meek, the poor, the merciful.

The last month or so I’ve been trying to figure out who I am, what I believe, and what my place is in the world. If I can change one person’s life for the better, I think that’s enough. I’m trying to focus on being a better human being every day…looking inside myself and trying to have pure intentions with everything I do. Happiness comes in the service of others, in kind words, in shared laughter, in shared pain, in remembering someone’s name or giving them a hug. Everything we do ripples throughout space and time, no action is ever over.

I have been touched by so many people in my life, and they have all shaped who I am today. I am blessed to have been so lucky. I know there are others who are less lucky than I, and so I must focus on ending my own suffering and the suffering of others. Suffering begins when we fail to recognize our shared humanity, our shared values, and the love that can bring us all together.

So maybe Jesus died for our sins 2000 years ago, and maybe he didn’t. It’s almost irrelevant, frankly. We still have an obligation to be the best we can be, rejoicing in the happiness of others and knowing that kindness is its own reward.

Enjoy your chocolate!

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Epiphany

April 8, 2011 at 11:10 am (Uncategorized)

I just realized I graduate in 5 weeks. Holy shit.

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The Kingdom of God

April 7, 2011 at 12:05 am (Uncategorized)

Today in Bible as Literature, I did a little blaspheming. I love that class, but it is 3 hours long and I have to sometimes entertain myself a little.

We were discussing parables in the New Testament, and a big theme is wondering about the Kingdom of God. So I give you some of my ideas about the Kingdom of God from class…I’d advise against reading further if you’re easily offended.

  • The kingdom of God is like your mother…open to everyone!
  • The kingdom of Heaven is like glitter of those black things in the sprint turf…it gets into everything.
  • The kingdom of God is like a can of soda…you really shouldn’t shake it up.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is like ENGL375…it goes on and on and on…
  • The Kingdom of God is like an STD…you spread it with your love!
  • The kingdom of God is like a penis…it’s growing in size and going to come over everything.
  • The kingdom of God is like a white crayon…it’s hard to understand it’s exact purpose.
  • The kingdom of God is like your gall bladder…it’s somewhere inside, but you aren’t sure exactly where.

 

As a further disclaimer, I think Jesus is awesome. I mean I thought that before, but actually reading the Bible—that guy’s the man. Am I sure that he’s the son of God? Not exactly. But I dig his style. Making me think a lot about what I believe.

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Running into a brick wall

April 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Sitting here listening to Ingrid Michaelson, not going to the class I’m supposed to be in.

Today hasn’t been a particularly good day. Shot a bit more for Lane’s film, which was fine, ended up practically running to my Vandal Friday presentation (it ended up being all right) and then running around trying to get my whole “oops we screwed up and you don’t actually have enough credits to graduate” situation figured out. The political science department has been fantastic, but there have just been a lot of miscues. I had a headache and decided to come back to my apartment instead of going to JCA’s class. Not that John isn’t interesting, but I just needed a little more down time to sit around instead of talking about the Bible.

I told myself I was going to start writing more, but I find it difficult to form coherent sentences. My mind is flying all over the place, and mostly I’m just uncertain about what life will bring. I’m optimistic that things will turn out well, but at the moment…it’s just hard to say.

One day you will know/we’re men of snow/we melt one day.

If we were once in the winter of our discontent, perhaps we’re moving into a new spring. Certainly the weather seems to be improving, though that is often an hourly variable. I’m hopeful the sun may stay for a while.

Doing some Habitat for Humanity work in Lewiston tomorrow and quite looking forward to it. I never feel quite so good as when I’m helping other people, and several of the folks from my ASB trip are going to be there, so it’ll be nice to hang out with them.

I am not a good writer in this moment. Perhaps inspiration will strike someday.

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