Saturday, January 22, 2011


First, Inception. It was a good, good movie. Reminded me of Synecdoche, NY in a lot of ways; That playful pondering of those things that are not quite possible, but close enough to matter.
Leo was inspired, and Joseph Gordon Levitt over acted a bit, but there was too much going on to really be distracted by it. Not as heavy on the special effects as I had expected, and yet they were poignant and meaningful to the movie when they came out. I loved that they hit hard on a couple of the magical aspects of dreaming. We can dream seemingly a days worth of stuff in a twenty minute nap, and I always wake up with a 'kick!' So in that way, I think it made everyone feel like they needed to pay attention.
And naturally, I experimented on Kelsey later on in the night by waking her up with my face a few inches from hers. The result was terrifying for both of us, I think. I don't know what I was expecting.

TIME! I was already a little preoccupied with the subject before I saw Inception, but that certainly fueled it a little. I have a couple of thoughts:
Firstly, I realized that for the first time in my life, I am living in a season that isn't encapsulated with a defined beginning and end. Each school year has a beginning and an end, high school had a beginning and an end, and college had a beginning and an end (although admittedly I drug my feet through that one a little bit). And really, it affected the way I lived my life during those times. There were nights where I would tell myself, "I only have two more years of this, before everything changes." And we (most of those of you around me during these times, at least) lived petty frenetic lives in lieu of these predestined finish lines.
Some of it was immaturity, or just being young, but everything happened faster. We would meet someone, fall in love, or become best friends in a few weeks. We would sleep five hours a night, fearful of missing the few things that were happening while our eyes were closed.
I did my learning in condensed, late-night hours, jamming weeks of carefully thought-out lectures into my head with music buzzing through head phones and caffeine pulsing through my veins (how that worked, or even seemed reasonable, is already completely beyond me).
I am still proud of myself in a lot of ways. I did a LOT in 5 years. I had many of life altering conversations, ideas that would have made a difference had they actually been carried out. I drank lots of soda and I exercised.
Then I graduated, moved, got married, and for the first time in my life I wasn't being told when the next checkpoint was coming. I picture it sometimes as if I am a raindrop, first hitting the ground at some high elevation, then racing purposefully through channels and down a mountain. I start out in some tiny little stream, then we join up with other streams and gain strength. We crash onward until the ground flattens out, the now half-mile wide river deltas, and I am flushed out into this enormous lake. I look around, we are all panting, high-fiving if we feel like it, but looking around a little uncertain.
There were always times when I looked forward to things slowing down. But now I feel like a sprinter trying to run a marathon. It takes so much more discipline to get anything done, to keep up on dreams and passions, to spend time with people I used to see around every corner. I sleep eight hours every night! And sometimes I find myself excited about it... ugh.
I think about trying to find a hobby, or filling up my time with more obligations, but I know that until I can figure out how to live my life with more patience those things will only be prolonging the inevitable.
Admittedly, I do see the first-fruits of allowing relationships and wisdom to grow and mature within this patience. There is more depth, longer exploration of all these things in this world that are so deserving of our attention, of our senses. Embracing a sunset, driving with the stereo off, making a meal with my wife, listening more and finding that I have less to say. All firsts, all seem like pretty good things.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Interior Castle: A Return To Blarging

"I really think I have little to say that I have not already said
in other books which I have been commanded to write; indeed, I am
afraid that I shall do little but repeat myself, for I write as
mechanically as birds taught to speak, which, knowing nothing
but what is taught them and what they hear, repeat the same things
again and again. If the Lord wishes me to say anything new, His
Majesty will teach it me or be pleased to recall to my memory what
I have said on former occasions; and I should be quite satisfied
with this, for my memory is so bad that I should be delighted if I
could manage to write down a few of the things which people have
considered well said, so that they should not be lost. If the Lord
should not grant me as much as this, I shall still be the better
for having tried, even if this writing under obedience tires me
and makes my head worse, and if no one finds what I say of any

And so I begin to fulfill my obligation on this Day of the Holy
Trinity, in the year MDLXXVII, in this convent of St. Joseph of
Carmel in Toledo, where I am at this present, submitting myself as
regards all that I say to the judgment of those who have commanded
me to write, and who are persons of great learning. If I should
say anything that is not in conformity with what is held by the
Holy Roman Catholic Church, it will be through ignorance and not
through malice. This may be taken as certain, and also that,
through God's goodness, I am, and shall always be, as I always
have been, subject to her. May He be for ever blessed and
glorified. Amen."

I decided to brush up on my 16th century literature this week, so I returned to an old classic of a friend (by "returned," I mean start again after having previously only made it fifteen pages in; and by "friend," I mean beast of a book that will hopefully replace my dim-witted idea of prayer with a more Promethean exploration of Unity with God) in Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila

I haven't, however, written anything since *see previous post* so I will focus my attention and efforts on this short little pearl I found at the beginning of the book. It strikes me in so many ways, so immediately. Her humility in the first few lines here is impressive, and I could quite easily model my entire life after the simple and dutiful way she approaches even writing about God. "I am afraid that I shall do little but repeat myself, for I write as mechanically as birds taught to speak...which...repeat the same things again and again. If the Lord wishes me to say anything new, His Majesty will teach it me or be pleased to recall to my memory what I have said on former occasions... If the Lord should not grant me as much as this, I shall still be the better
for having tried."

In more recent history, it seems like people write so freely and without caution about God that regardless of whether they speak any truth at all it feels disdainful when I read these words by Teresa of Avila. That's not to say that I don't or haven't in the past found some of these writers faith-inspiring, but the replacing of candor with reverence, of presumption with hopeful accuracy is so refreshing. "If I should say anything that is not in conformity with what is held by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, it will be through ignorance and not through malice."
It seems crazy to find a person whose devotion to her church is so strong that she seeks only to speak words of reinforcement and affirmation. It seems like so many chapters of books about God start with phrases like, "What if," that it is so cool to start Chapter 1 of Interior Castle with, "While I was beseeching Our Lord to-day that He would speak through me..."

I know, I know, make a point, David. But it's these little things at the beginning of a new read that really capture my fancy and excite me. It reminds me that there is so much history behind that which I model my life around. There were so many brilliantly devoted people in this Faith, and that's awesome.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The word doesn't get thrown around too often. There are few things left in this world that people still consider with a hope of inviolability, of earthly holiness and beyond. And yet somehow, in the midst of this universal skepticism of all things institutional or traditional, we still have this childlike hope in the sanctity of marriage.
The statistics don't lie; no matter your religious affiliation, societal or economic status, marriage is a coin flip. The failure of man and woman to live up the the promise of 'till death do us part' stares us in the face as we grow up, half of us in divided households, fragmented families. You don't even have to go that far back into history before we find a culture where a failed marriage is a red flag, and badge worn shamefully by those who took part. And yet the wedding day is still the most celebrated day in most people's lives.
And I LOVE this, for so many reasons (one of which, of course, being that I will get to experience this in two short months). I love the fact that we still live in a world of love, where we spend our lives searching for a person with which we might share life's greatest intimacies. I have seen a happy marriage from up close. My parents loved each other with a passion an joy that was out of this world. They would do anything for one another, even if it meant putting themselves aside, again and again. And while their marriage was at its core spiritually charged, what was just as astonishing was the normalcy with which they shared themselves completely. It is the purest form of coming together, of living as two and as a unified one at the same time.
We have all, married or not, members of unified families or not, at least experienced 'that friendship' where things just seemed to click, to fall into place as you discovered an inordinate amount of commonalities. These things are born out of love, out of the sanctity of shared experience, shared passion, hopes and dreams. And you're a fool if you don't see God's hand in it all; our creation as relational beings and the way we cherish the opportunity to spend life WITH another.
Some people will never be married, however, and some marriages are going to fail as we've seen. But all will benefit from living in a world where love is paramount. With a God like ours, marriage serves only as a prime example of, and not the soul route to, love. The sacrificial nature of successful marriages is only a microcosm of the sacrifice God made in order to make ultimate love possible. When my dad was sick in bed during his last month with us, he told me he was still glad it was him, and not my mother, that was having to suffer so greatly. And of course he should say that, but I knew he meant it, and I knew he could mean it only because of what God had revealed to him over so many years. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 is perhaps THE verse we all recognize from the Bible. Why? because God so LOVED the world. It's simply stated, and yet the implications of that love have changed history.
So, I guess this little entry is turning into a call to arms. If we don't uphold the sanctity of God's blessing in marriage, the sanctity of the only thing bridging the gap between we the people and our Creator, then all is lost.
Man, I am excited.