Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Kristine" journal:
[<< Previous 10 entries]
In the Jaws of Perpetual Singleness|
I've slipped in my habit of documenting my "are you kidding me" moments in the adventure land of online dating, but I think it's time to update with a few recent doozies.
CC Email: "Well I just want to say that I do not want to date you but I think that you are very unique! :)
Me: Yes, thank you, that was my intention all along. While other little girls declared: "When I grow up I'm going to be a Mommy!" I said "Scratch that! When I grow up, I'm going to be UNIQUE!"
And now I will cry in despair at the apparent futility of my efforts. :P
If you're looking for a way to instantly make an impression the first time you interact with a girl in a chat session, try this one:
Marv: Happy New Years
So marry me?
Me: Hi? Nice to meet you first? lol
Marv: so yes?
.... And another Christian Cafe first time instant-message/chat session:
CC Guy: You have really nice hair
ME: Thank you
CC Guy: How long is it?
ME: The same length it is in the picture, it doesn't grow much beyond my waist
CC Guy: I love girls with long hair, it's very sexy
CC Guy: I would love to run my fingers through your hair and play with it
ME: Well seeing as this is the first time we talk, why don't we save that for another date, shall we?
CC Guy: Is it hard to manage?
ME: Not really, I condition it in the shower, braid it to go to bed, it's not that thick so it's manageable
ME: I have a friend whose hair is even longer than mine, down to her calves. I can imagine her hair maintenance is a lot more extensive
CC Guy: Wow!
CC Guy: Do you have a picture of your friend?
Tags: christian cafe
When a Christian friend offered to pray for me, and I facetiously declared: "I'd need a miracle!", he asked me what that miracle would look like. After some serious thought, this was my reply:
If I could have a miracle, I would want one year. One year to be a normal person, with a normal body, and normal problems (I'll deal with heartbreak and money woes, the painful bunions and the bad-hip from tripping during a faulty fire-alarm at Indigo-Chapters.) I wouldn't care if I died the year after, but I would want ONE year of being able to go where normal people go, eat what normal people eat, and live as normal people live, without fear of my health worsening or my brain getting re-injured. One year to have normal relationships not strangled and tortured by the strings of my past. One year to just be a healthy and functional human being - and not have to be a survivor and a fighter every day of my life.
I decided some time ago that I would rather die living, than to live as I were already dead. Quitting easily isn't in me. Most people with MCS don't travel. Many of them don't even leave their house and have to have others run their errands. They certainly don't ride public transit or couch-surf or put themselves in unpredictable environments as much as I do. MCS is a condition that worsens the more one gets exposed to chemicals and every time I go out in public I am exposed to automobile exhaust, perfumes, chemical cleaners etc.
But with the choice to fight and to pretend to be normal, comes consequences. I often have a painful time breathing, and over time I've noticed myself becoming increasingly sensitive to smaller amounts of fumes. [I went to Burning Man and] There were more than 50,000 people on the playa, and although a handful of people I spoke to were bothered by the diesel fumes Thursday night and the toxic garbage burning Monday night, only one person (me) had to spend both nights in the playa's pressurized hospital tent, having to be put on oxygen when her blood-oxygen levels were found to be too low. The normal people barely noticed a thing; they partied while I had to hide indoors. Similarly, the chemicals in perfumes and fragrances are healthy for no one (this list is unsourced but insightful - and indicates why perfumes/fragrances affect breathing http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/badfragrance2.htm
) but I wish I could function around them and not be so bothered and incapacitated by them.
That aside, I also have the freak injury thing happening for me, whereby my favourite hobby is a very real threat to my mental health. I have what essentially amounts to a floppy brain, as a result of past head injury inflicted on me by a temperamental adult-child who opted instead of raising
me to simply lift me up and chuck
me. I think I may have mentioned it before, but I had a very domineering father who chose whacks to the head as his primary mode of communication. This was compounded by a few other injuries, including the collision with the T-bar that knocked out my teeth when I was a teen. The last CAT-scan revealed inflammation around the brain, and the current theory is that injury = inflammation = pressure on the brain = shrinking of brain tissue = more room for brain to flop around when head is bumped or jostled (ie sudden movement in vehicle) = even more injury. I get concussions REALLY easily. It scares me. My mind is one thing I value most and I'm afraid I won't always bounce back intellectually. I'm afraid I might go a little crazy (crazier?) the way many brain-injury patients do. But I LOVE to dance and I loathe the thought of quitting... If I could have one year where I could just dance and not have to worry about further injury. One year with a normal brain so I could laugh off a lead's forearm to the head the way most follows do instead of spending a week in aches and dizziness...
Then there's my teeth... Oh the trouble they have faced! Six years of braces that included painful pallet surgery to uncover and bring my eye-teeth down through the bone 1 mm per month, faithful brushing/flossing... only to collide with that T-bar. Another painful surgery to reattach teeth, later followed by countless x-rays and four root canals (two of them while I was no longer under family insurance - at a tune of $1000 each!), followed by the eventual breaking of those weakened teeth, the extraction of teeth, and then two years singing "All I want for Christmas is my seven front teeth" (oh yeah, I was real sexy those two years!) before I could finally afford the $1000 partial (that is now breaking apart and which I can't afford to replace right now)... And if that trouble weren't trouble enough, the accidental aspartame reaction that precipitated my MCS also led to the break-down of my enamel on all remaining teeth. $3000 already spent on fillings/extractions and another round of that to come in upcoming months on newest cavities... [edit: I just realized today how very bad ten of my remaining 15 teeth are - and badly inflamed too, which according to latest Health Canada reports leads to brain damage, especially with age] if and when I can find such money again... Since we're asking for a miracle, I want my full-set of teeth back. Normal people my age don't have the ability to cough out their teeth. :P ...Failing that, I'd like to have access to a good dental insurance plan at very least.
I'd like to not be alone. This is something I don't always admit, even to myself, because I've grown to depend on myself and myself alone. I trust myself, I enjoy being with myself and because of my past I learned at a very young age how to survive emotionally when I felt completely unwanted and unloved by anyone else. (I wrote a mystery novel when I was ten!) I can be oddly extroverted in social settings (my social fix) and if you watch me chatting up strangers like they were old friends you'd never know how alone and misfitting I feel. I am rather verbose and talking comes easily to me but I have to make great efforts to develop deeper connections. I have to be intentional about making plans to go out and socialize one on one - and following through on them. Given the opportunity I often prefer the safety of my computer projects and photograph-tourism.
But we were not made to be alone and there comes a time when my longing for belonging and my need for human connection can't be fixed with blues dancing and the rush of being surrounded by hundreds of people. I want to know and be known. I want true and honest conversation, I want to be an integral part of some people's lives. I want a family, whether that be by blood or by choice, children or adult. My biological family barely knows me or cares to know my whereabouts, yet the Bible says that God "sets the lonely in families" and I yearn for that to be so. I have great love and empathy for the homeless on the streets - most are there because they were forgotten. When their health deteriorated too far, or their mind failed, when despair finally kicked them into giving up and not continuing to fight against their ghosts and their struggles, eventually there was no one left to say "I'm not going to let go of you!" I'm terrified of ending up there. I'm not the co-dependent type and I don't need to be married. But I know I do need the miracle of family, a place where I can always go home and know that if I lose my fight, I will be fought for.
I want a home. I long for a place to be and to belong and to be long. I may seem like the eternal wanderer, but I'm truly not. Homeless nomad is a far cry from my childhood dream of stay-at-home mom. I'm sure I'll never be immune to the travel bug and will always love adventure and the challenge of the open road, but deep down I long for a place to unpack my heavy bags. I want a garden to grow my own food, and a kitchen with my favourite tools for all my home-made wonders. Tolkien aptly said that "Not all who wander are lost"... but some of us definitely are. I'll admit that vagabonding is an odd way to look for a place to settle, but I just ran out of ideas and direction back in Ottawa. To quote the hymn of my life, sung by U2: "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."
Which leads me into the next area. I need direction. Spiritual and vocational. If God is anywhere, I need to be led. I have asked, I have cried, I even ran out into the middle of the desert and screamed at the stars in case he was hiding behind them. I know where my strengths lie, but I don't know where I'm supposed to go, what I'm supposed to be, how I'm supposed to support myself given all my obstacles. Proverbs 3:5-6 promised us in Sunday School that if we trusted in God he would make our paths straight. Mine have been anything but. Circular and jagged. Full of bumpy sharp rocks. And while walking that path I've been asked to carry a really heavy back-pack that wears me down when I walk and crushes me when I lie down.
I won't get into all my God and Bible issues right this second cause I've discussed this at some length already on FB, but I'm currently needing some really solid answers that I'm afraid don't exist. Reading Erhman's "God's Problem" has clarified the Bible's position on suffering and put to rest a lot of the trite Sunday School answers I've received most of my life. But it's also opened a whole new can of questions and shed new perspective on suffering around the world that makes my own pale in comparison. If God/Jesus is real, I'm going to need a lot more than maybe's and I-don't-know's to get me hanging on. I'm teetering quite close to the edge of publicly declaring myself agnostic, and as I hear myself coldly mock Christian declarations I realize I'm slowly eulogizing and grieving the God I always thought I could count on.
Miracles. Why? Because I believe if God is, he should be just. Because I believe there is a Christian version of karma that SHOULD render things right. There should be a fairy-tale ending for someone who has suffered all their days dontchaknow? God should look down and see how grieved the little princess' heart is, and because he loves her so, he will embrace her with gentleness and kid-gloves cause she's been through so much already... and not ask her to suffer something else while she's already overwhelmed. Now get sicker, now lose the love of your life and carry everything alone, now get exposed to asbestos, now have your bag stolen, now find out that you can't go to SFLX after spending so much to get here, because your request to volunteer never made it through the computer and you can't afford to pay...
Deuteronomy 6:18 "Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you" .... So when do I get to live happily ever after?
Tags: marriage, questions of faith, teeth
God Thoughts part 2|
Wasn't it just a week ago that I wrote that last entry in the midst of brokenness and confusion, seeking God in the midst of all the pains and sufferings of my life, crying out with these questions....
"God why are you hurting me so much?? Do you love me at all? Why have you taken everything I could ever want and made it impossible to acquire? Why do you allow so much pain and disease into my life despite everything I've already suffered throughout my lifetime? Why do you parade in front of me the married girls with homes and husbands who'll take care of them in sickness and in health though all they know right now is health, and kids who call them Mommy... And in full view of them you continue to send more pain and hurt my way? God why won't you help me? Why do you leave me to swim in the mud for 13 years only to let 'the devil' throw more stones at me while I'm down?
God if you exist, do you hate me? Did you hate me when I was a little girl and everything started? Do you want me crying and miserable forever? My friends mock you and tell me to reject you and to live my life seeking after me and what I might gain. To stop waiting for the husband you keep denying me despite my living life 'your way' and to just go ahead and enjoy sex and babies and whatever else I can before my health caves in all the way. God, If you are real and you are good, please show me a little mercy, just a little miracle that says I'm not wasting my breath and you're taking care of me."
And God answered.
Through a series of perfectly orchestrated circumstances I happen to be visiting a friend I met in a random path-crossing back in Berkeley two months ago. And he just happens to have just bought himself a house this month when he thought his roommates were all moving out (turned out they didn't and he needn't even have moved after all). So happens he had just TWO days in the course of this busy month throughout which he was otherwise away on business trips. And those two days just happened to be the two that his dad could come and help with house fix-ups.
Did they fix the faulty plumbing? Did they pull out the crappy carpets? Did they unpack the boxes that are still strewn about everywhere? No, they did the most logical thing to do when you move into a house: They tore up the asbestos "popcorn ceilings" in do-it-yourself fashion
, not even bothering to eliminate their work clothes, cover up their shoes, eliminate the drop-sheet or any of the appropriate measures of asbestos removal. With windows subsequently open, cancerous microscopic fibers have been blowing throughout the household dust and landing on all porous substances including beddings, sofas, carpeting etc.
And unknowingly enters a girl who already has breathing difficulties, who is already sickly and already hurting. Because God could think of no better way to prove his love and care for her than to inflict her with a rare and deadly toxin to coat her fragile lungs
when she is trying so hard through eating and living healthy to just survive as best as she can.
I set out on this journey trying to find out whether God is there and whether that God is good and whether God loves and cares for me. Someone at the Joyce Meyer prayed with me and gave God a 30 day ultimatum to show himself unmistakably in my life. During that thirty days I suffered a pesticide exposure and besides that God was silent. So I went on to San Francisco where in a 6 week period I suffered three concussions. And now this.
Like I've said before, there's some good intellectual reasons that can logically explain God, even a God who allows suffering, if you want to believe in Him. But come on: really? God you know I'm having a REALLY REALLY rough season of loss right now with my fiance having bailed and my health being at an all-time low. And you know I'm really really having a hard time believing in you and your goodness and care for me, so is this REALLY the right time to send me a trial of such a grand and irreversible magnitude as this??? God I spit on your love if that's your idea of love.
I don't think I want to believe in that God anymore. I wish I could. I want the God I can trust and follow and give my life to so that everything has purpose and meaning and divine direction. I want the God who loves me and who wants my best. I want to be a good Bible-following wife who submits to a husband who in turn loves her like Christ loves his bride and lays down his life for her. I want a God-following Christian family with kids singing Veggie Tales and Jungle Jam songs in the car and doing family devotions as we worship God together the way I'd always dreamed a family should be.
But I don't think I can believe. If God exists He has hurt me and failed me and let me down when I was at my lowest and he has allowed far too much to land on me when all I was doing was seeking him and walking the way I thought I should. Asbestos? I can't take that one more straw. Not on top of my breathing difficulties from my MCS on top of my easy concussions on top of my removable teeth and future dental treatment still to come, and all on top of him making me suffer alone by taking away my beloved.
I HATE that God!!! I just needed to be loved and taken care of and he makes me get SICKER!!!
There are five men in my life right now (including Andrew my now married ex - those on my LJ friends list will recall that whirlwind romance vividly and how I turned him down because he was not a believer.... and now he's emailing me again, still desires to be with me) who have promised to take care of me and give me the baby I've always wanted, if I can only reject this silly notion of God - who evidently cares a lot less for me than my friends do.
God hates me and will smite me with pain and misery no matter what I do, so why not do it? I'll sleep around, have an out-of-wedlock baby - heck why not go all out and commit adultery while I'm at it? God will make (or "allow") my life to be worse anyway as he always does - maybe I'll step on an HIV infected needle next week, and be in a debilitating car accident the week after. He'll think of something.
"God, If you are real and you are good, please show me a little mercy, just a little miracle that says I'm not wasting my breath and you're taking care of me." IF God answered, his "I hate you" and his "Ha ha ha!" came through loud and clear this week!!
If you're a believer I defy you to give me an answer for all this bullshit. You don't have one, no less than you can explain the inequity in human suffering globally. Oh but it's nice to know people are praying for me. Go back and ask that abusive monster in the sky, that Being you're still able to trust in cause he doesn't appear to have pissed on you as much as he has others of us who reap in the hoards of the shit, go talk to him again and ask him to help me, like people have been doing all of my life.... Then stand back and see his handiwork of destruction. Look on with the mockers who muse at how "God is good all the time" - to other people. And tell me why I shouldn't listen to them when they tell me to give this God the finger and live for me for once in my life. Tell me why after all the tears and pleas I should still trust and seek out the big guy with a colony of confused ants who is just as guilty of our pain, even if he is not directly inflicting it... The louder I cry and squirm in pain the longer he stands by idly, "allowing" his asshole cousin the devil to scald me with his magnifying glass up to the sun again and again and again - and here's one more for the road while you're visiting Despair and Doubt.
When it comes to faith vs doubt in God, I think my struggle is not so much with the academic and reason side of things. Although I do sense the need to resolve things more solidly in my intellect so that I at least have logic and facts to fall back on (not to mention the ability to reason more eloquently and effectively with non-believers), for the most part I've thus far trusted the greater Christian minds whom I respect, and who have evidently done their homework.
As I see it, without my having a dozen degrees in science, language, history etc, there will always be theological and scientific debate by thinkers who far exceed my schooling and reasoning capacities. I feel to a certain degree that I already posses enough evidence to trust with confidence ("run the ramp of reason before taking a leap of faith") that there is at least an intelligent higher being/originator, and a supernatural realm beyond what science can measure and touch. I am also fairly confident in the historicity of Jesus and in the ancient texts which speak of him, though I do leave room for the possibility of scribal error. (2 Tim 3:16 - Bible never claims to be "inerrant")
But where I get lost is on the personal plane - where theory and life diverge. Although I can intellectually play head games and ascent to the logic that allows a good God alongside suffering, when the suffering is your own and you're in constant and progressive pain (both my MCS and the symptoms of frequent brain injury are getting worse), the theories don't really matter all that much. I'm not just picking a preferred position/belief - this is my LIFE!
See, if God exists, then I am angry and must ask: "Why are you hurting me so much? Why do you help and bless most others around me, while constantly heaping/allowing more pain on my shoulders when I'm already so wounded?" But if He is only wishful thinking, made real like Peter Pan clapping for the fairies, with blessings, cursings, and answered prayer being nothing more than illusions and a game of coincidental roullette, then I am angry with myself for trying so long to believe and live sacrificially for One who only makes you feel better if you can delude yourself into thinking that He's there and will soon show up to help you.
How can I trust - let alone love - a Being who supposedly has all power in the universe but didn't prevent the physical and verbal abuses I sustained while growing up in a "Christian" home, and now allows that wounded and disappointed girl - who is already struggling desperately to believe - a plethora of illness, injury and loss that will crush and destroy what remains of her future and dreams?
Because of childhood/teen head injuries I easily acquire an average of 1 to 2 concussions a month from even minor bumps and jolts. My neurologist wasn't much help beyond "stay away from risky activity." (Dancing isn't football for crying out loud!) I walk around with excruciating headaches, tiredness, dizziness, blurry vision, hot flashes, tinnitus, and light spots, for days and sometimes weeks at a time - which all stands in the way of the writing career with which I'd hoped to sustain myself. Three weeks ago I bumped heads while dancing and the resulting concussion took about two weeks to almost recover from. SLOX arrived and I was elbowed in the forehead while taking it easy OFF the dance floor. Really, God? Was that necessary too?
This all along with ongoing uninsured dental problems from that fateful ski accident that cost me half my teeth, alongside chemical and perfume sensitivities as by-product of accidental pesticide and aspartame over-exposures (which also resulted in a year of skeletal weight-loss and migraines when I was 23), alongside losing my best friend to a murder when I was 18, alongside a number of other complications - from painful bunions to an injured hip to difficulties keeping housing and employment because of health issues, all the way down to the man "God gave me" after faithful years of virtuous waiting, promising "too much too soon" and walking away like it's my fault for being sick... and a decapitated partridge in a pear tree!
I'm sure somewhere there are many on earth whose sufferings are far greater, but I feel mine are magnified by living in full view of the girls who were selfish and often cruel to me throughout their charmed Christian childhoods, and now are blessed abundantly still, with love, homes, stability, spouse and children. They marry and have multiple children; I mourn and have multiple concussions. If there's a God I feel like he mocks me, just like the inmates of Alcatraz who could hear the sounds of San Francisco life from across the water; forced to live just close enough to know and glimpse the life they wanted but could not reach.
... If God "loves [me] and has a wonderful plan for [my] life", I wouldn't want to see what he'd do to me if he hated me.
The funny thing is, I believe that if I could
be completely confident that God is and that God is good, it'd be an entirely different story for me. If God personally appeared to me and said "Kristine, I have a specific mission for you. It will involve you being sick and in pain most of your days, you'll live and die alone, perhaps even lose your mind from concurrent injuries and perhaps have to give up your favourite hobby dance just to survive... but when this brief life is over, I've got an eternity that will surpass your wildest imaginations - do you accept?
... I'd like to believe that while I would continue to grieve a little every time I saw my peers' latest "happy life" pictures on FB ("It would not hurt any less even if it could be explained" sung Rich Mullins in his song "Hard to Get"), I could more easily surrender.
It's like Avalon's song "Can't Live a Day Without You" (see youtube link below to hear)... What on earth could be greater for a creature than to live the specific life and purpose a loving creator planned for her existence?
If this God is real and if heaven and hell are true and eternity is absolute, then I want to be on board with His project. No matter what the cost! Time is finite, sex is just physical... Eternity is forever.... but if He's a big farce, or worse - some all-powerful sadistically cruel monster screwing with my life like it's a cosmic chew-toy... then the price I'm paying to sustain this faith is higher than I want to be paying.
It's one thing to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice
" (Hebrews 12:1-2) - it's quite another to be a "living suicide
." The first implies a giving up of self TO another, for a higher gain. The second is simply a worthless deprivation and loss.
It's a tough gamble. One certainly doesn't want to be wrong on the wrong side of the equation. Losing out on earthly pleasures like sex simply sucks if earthly pleasures are all there is. But... "what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own sou
l?" (Matt 16:25)
So that's where I'm at. It's a large motivation behind my extended traveling. I've left behind my known world and asked "God" for direction and divine appointments along the road, if He's out there. I've made some incredible friends, and had some spiritual interactions that border on incredibly coincidental if they were not divinely appointed... but I've also had those head injuries and a few other incidents that I refuse to blindly disregard in light of the ones that paint God in a more hopeful light. Can't credit God with blessings then permit him to have turned a blind eye when the hammer dropped.
A friend of mine recently asked me to "give God a chance"... Is 13 years (from the time I left home) of prayers unacknowledged and questions without answers enough of a chance? When I'm seeking an answer with all my heart that seems to be the time God is most likely to grant me a new hurdle. Just how long am I supposed to keep believing that God is for me when the evidence tells an uglier reality?
In the Bible God says that if you seek Him you will find Him if you seek with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 & Proverbs 8:17) I really hope that this is true... It just occurred to me that I may not be seeking with all my heart if I'm giving God an ultimatum. And yet, I'm only dust, God. I'm parched and hurting! Why are you deaf to my cries and blind to the tears that have soaked many pillows since my childhood? Or am I talking to myself? I really do need to know if you're there...
In the end I think it's probably ok to not understand or make perfect sense of it all. I know even the wisest of teachers/authors is probably going to miss something somewhere. We're supposed to only "see in part" anyway (according to 1 Cor 13:12) ... It sure would be nice to have a somewhat better picture though. "I don't have any answers but I'll pray for you
" only carries one so far.
I am grateful the Bible teaches that Thomas doubted and Peter flat-out denied and cursed Jesus - and those two were among Jesus' closest disciples - they'd personally heard every word of His and witnessed all those miracles, and yet still their faith and devotion wavered. But Jesus doesn't write them off. He responded with patience and grace and individually gave them what they needed. If He's really real today, then there may well be hope for later-day doubters and disciples too.
God "help thou my unbelief."
And if God be not, or be not good... then may I learn to live as best I can and put to death childish notions of one who's hand isn't too short to save... maybe, somehow.
"Hard to Get" written by Rich Mullins just before he died, covered by Rich Stacey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp7BOiT0L5o
"Can't Live a Day Without You" by Avalon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_DVlb3Knf8&feature=related
I have met my husband...|
At least I think I have. I'm scared that he'll get to know me a little better and realize I'm not so easy to live with and he'll just tire of my health obsession and all my issues and run for the coast while he still can.
But I think we've got something here that I've never known before. I'm scared. The last time a relationship was going this well I panicked and told the guy I wasn't ready for that level of commitment - and after two years of having him as my boyfriend I dumped him cause I thought something wasn't right and I could do better. Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't know how to accept love. Maybe I'm in love with an ideal that can't exist to the point that when I find the closest thing to that ideal I'm still searching for something to find fault with it. I think I'm messed up.
As you likely recall from earlier posts, Aaron and I met at JPUSA in Chicago back in early October. He was on overnight phones when I was coming in at my ridiculous hours during my dance exchange and no matter how tired I was, he always managed to keep me downstairs for conversation (and one morning he dragged me to a thrift shop) when I was well beyond my point of exhaustion. I was immediately smitten, the very first time I met him. His dred-locks and clothes spoke of someone who walked off the beaten path, his personality reflected a generous and kind soul and a friend I wanted to spend more time with. So when he said at the end of my visit that he was not ready for a relationship right now but that "If God opens the door for more someday then praise Jesus" I was thrilled at the prospect of having found a true kindred spirit.
We've been corresponding not only online but via old-fashioned letters. Funny enough, he was squarely against joining Facebook and kept refusing even to the day I left. He prefers pen & paper. He had a letter in the mail for me barely a few days after I left JPUSA. But even before the letter had arrived, he joined Facebook - he said he realized how hard it would be to stay in touch otherwise! I was touched.
We've also had several phone calls, the first on my birthday (November 3rd), another on November 18th (it was during that call that I got my first serious inclination that I could very well have found "the one") and a couple more after that (Nov 29, Dec 10), each call at least several hours. A week ago we broke his longest phone record with a 3-hour call, and we broke MY previous record (8 hours) last night - with a NINE hour phone conversation during which we left barely a stone uncovered in terms of stuff couples need to discuss prior to a permanent relationship.
A couple weeks ago Aaron sent me a letter that said again that while he was not ready for a relationship just yet, he fully intends someday to "ask you for your hand - to be my lover" He said that he didn't know how he could be so sure so soon but that he truly believed with all his heart that this was the right path for him to be on. Our conversations have intensified since then and I've heard him gradually move to speaking like our future together was a matter of "when" and no longer an "if".
He'll be 22 this summer and I'm 30, though our ages don't seem to matter much if at all. (We didn't even learn each other's ages until about a week in to our friendship). He's been travelling since he was 18 (With YWAM among other things) and his experiences have matured him beyond his years. He's not career-oriented and our combined lack for income capacity worries me, especially if we brought children into the picture, but he's done farm labour and manual labour of all sorts. He's a hard worker and I know he'd find a way to work and to provide...
A few days ago he sent me a song. I'm still blown away. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQhzbqKrZTc&feature=PlayList&p=1015A32E3C942D0B&playnext=1&index=57
(pardon the video, it's the only audio source of the song that I could find) IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT I SEE by Geoff Moore
All of my life
I have dreamed
that somehow love would find me
Now I can't believe you're standing here
If beauty is all
in the eye
of the beholder then I
wish you could see
the love for you that lives in me
And you would know you have my heart
if you could see what I see
That a treasure is what you are
if you could see what I see
Created to be
the only one for me
If you could see what I see
I know there are days
when you feel
so much less than ideal
wondering what i see in you
It's all of the light
and the grace
your belief in me drives me to say
that i promise you
a faithful love, forever true
If you could see...
then you'd understand
why i fall down to my knees
and i pray my love
will be worthy of
the One who gave His life
so our love could be
If you could see
what i see(x2)
You're created to be
the perfect one for me
If you could see
what i see
If beauty is all
in the eye
of the beholder then i
That's really intense, no? He apologized afterward and said that maybe he should've waited before sending it - a sentiment I sort of share because I wonder if what he feels for me is premature and not based on a complete knowledge of me and how tiresome I can be to those around me. He's young and I'm his first relationship and people tend to fall really hard and fast their first time, don't they?
But he's no fool. Ten minutes into our first excursion I had my nose down my coat and was running to escape the perfumes of a laundromat we passed. He knows I have health issues and that I worry about some things few people even think about. He's very health conscious himself, but not to the degree I am. He laughingly told me that he thinks I'm nuts, but he likes me anyway. I wish I could believe that he'll still feel that way a year from now.
Again, maybe it's just me. I'm scared to be loved like that. I've been hurt and burnt so much that I'm looking for the bottom to fall out like something just can't be right and it's too perfect to be happening to me. Aaron is everything I've ever dreamed a love could be: he's kind and patient and open-minded and flexible, he's artistically inclined, a poet and great with words, he too loves to travel and meet new people, we see eye to eye on our dislike of the "American dream" and western ways, he favours natural medicine and wants to build a house out in nature and grow his own vegetables, he understands what it's like to be misunderstood by parents, he too questions the church system despite seeking after Jesus and God for Truth, and he has a heart for a life of ministry (though his call is to the Native Americans and I'm not sure how my own pro-life call would mesh into that.). To top it all: because of my influence he's started learning to dance (not swing, but he's keen on joining me for a dance-camp in Sweden next summer, assuming we can afford to go)
Could I have found a better match?? This guy has only ever existed in my dreams, while people told me I'd never find a Christian-dancing-health-concious-altern
ative-thinker and that I should lower my criteria if I ever hoped to get married.
So what am I scared of? Why am I hesitating? Why am I so afraid that I'll lose his heart or be unable to love him to the same degree? I'd stopped expecting I'd ever find someone like him, and now that I have, am I normal to be feeling a little off, in light of such an incredible relationship?
From Stampeding Rreindeers to Stampeding People.|
And they call the west the "civilized nations" ....
I just heard the news that somewhere near New York City, A Wal-mart employee was killed on Friday, in a stampede of shoppers trying to save a few dollars. What the hell, people! Are we still human???
Even after the man was knocked down and lying on the floor injured, people still stomped all over and around him to get their great deals for people they love, with no concern for that man and those who love him. I wonder a gift recipient would feel if she knew a man died for that toaster oven she didn't really need in the first place.
And when people were told they had to leave because an employee had been killed they yelled at authorities and refused to stop shopping for the deals they'd waited all night for. Even an eight-month old pregnant woman was knocked down and injured in the madness.
Are we savages? Is our need for CD's and stereos so vital to the survival of our species that we have to take on a Darwinian fight for these trite trophies of what will be tomorrow's technological junk? It's not like we were storming the doors for a limited supply of respirators or antibiotics to survive a pandemic disease - we were running to fill the pockets of a big corporation under society's insistence that we must bring fleeting joy to our loved-ones with material possessions they could've lived without.
And for a few hundred dollars saved, only to be lost on the purchase of other unnecessary possessions, no doubt, . a man will spend Christmas in his grave.
Peace on earth and goodwill toward man and all that.... How did my fellow humans ever come to this?
Obama: Neither pro-life NOR pro-choice - but pro-DEATH|
I'm disgusted. I can't vote in the American election but I will have my say anyway:
Like many progressive Christians in favour of social justice, I really thought Obama was a terrific man to lead my "second country". But now he scares the crap out of me.
Check this out:
(sourced and summarized from http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/viewarticle.php?selectedarticle=2008.10.14_George_Robert_Obama%27s%20Abortion%20Extremism_.xml
1. Obama supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions that are not necessary to save the life of the mother and are not the result of rape or incest. According to National Abortion Rights Action League the Hyde Ammendment ''forces about half the women who would otherwise have abortions to carry unintended pregnancies to term." Since Hyde, a lot of people are alive today who under Obama would've been killed prior to birth.
2. He has promised that ''the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act'' (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed ''fundamental right'' to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy and would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion
, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would ''sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.''
3. Obama has not endorsed or offered support for the Pregnant Women Support Act, the signature bill of Democrats for Life meant to reduce abortions by providing assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies. In fact, Obama has opposed key provisions of the Act, including providing coverage of unborn children in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), and informed consent for women about the effects of abortion and the gestational age of their child. This legislation would not make a single abortion illegal. It simply seeks to make it easier for pregnant women to make the choice not to abort their babies.
4. Along the same lines as above, Obama wishes to actually REMOVE federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need and who may desire an option besides abortion
. There is certainly NOTHING ''pro-choice'' about that!
5. Obama opposed the ban on partial birth abortion (a late-term abortion method on very viable babies who are delivered breach and then die by a puncture to the back of the skull through which their brains are sucked out)
6. Even worse, as an Illinois state senator he THREE TIMES voted to oppose legislation to protect children who are born alive, through unsuccessful abortion or deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. This legislation would also not have banned any abortions. But for Obama, a child marked for abortion gets no protection-even ordinary medical or comfort care-even if she is born alive and entirely separated from her mother. So Obama has favored protecting what is literally a form of infanticide.
7. On top of lifting bans on embryonic stem-cell research on left-over embryos in fertility clinics, Obama has co-sponsored a bill that would authorize the large-scale industrial production of human embryos for use in biomedical research in which they would necessarily be killed. This bill would require the killing of human beings in the embryonic stage produced by cloning and make it a FEDERAL CRIME for a woman to bring a cloned embryo to term by implantation in her womb
. Though they've misleadingly called it the "anti-cloning bill", what it bans is not cloning, but allowing the embryonic children produced by cloning to survive.
8. When a bill was introduced to put a modest amount of federal money into research to develop methods of stem-cell research that do NOT require the destruction of embryos and therefore pose no moral dilemma (ie adult stem-cells) Barack Obama was one of the few senators who opposed it. It is as if Obama is opposed to stem-cell research UNLESS it involves the killing of human embryos
So my American friends and those who love them, please consider these facts and let others know. Obama may speak wonders for the economy and the environment and propose many wonderful changes for low-income individuals and other social justice projects. But if the very least in our society can have no justice, then there can be no true justice.
I'm not a big fan of right-wing conservatism with their pro-war and pro-death-penalty ideals (and McCain's side-kick Sarah Palin makes me laugh a little too much to take her seriously) but for the love of God, the lives of children yet-to-be are too priceless to disregard when we make our decisions. Please think twice.
A Concerned Canadian
PS. For more on the Born Alive bill that Obama rejected, see this video in which nurses talk about witnessing babies born alive and left to die alone in soiled linen baskets. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRpIf2F9NA&eurl=http://lj-toys.com/?journalid=474511&moduleid=10&preview=&auth_token=sessionless:1224183600:embedcontentiurl=http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/BYRpIf2F9NA/default.jpg
Still in Toronto.... oops.... I mean: Chicago. :P|
WE didn't leave for Toronto.
My ride left without me. And I'm still in Chicago. Toronto 2005, deja-vu anyone? I have no money to take the bus back to Toronto where my bus ticket back to Ottawa and a bit of my stuff currently is.
But I'm not overly disappointed, to be quite honest. I'm sort of glad for the added time here to get to know the JPUSA folks.
I sort of feel like I belong here, at least for now. I'm really enjoying living in community at JPUSA (Jesus People USA) which is a big Christian commune of 500 people who live together, work together and serve the community together. We all have roommates (2-3 per small room made to look bigger with the help of bunkbeds and other space-saving tricks) and single men sleep in a different building than single females and families with children do, so things stay proper.
It runs like a big family too - or a small town. Some people run the businesses throughout the city that bring in the money (roofing, sheet-metal shop, printing business, mini-storage, record company etc), while others like me help in the kitchen for a few hours a day or serving in the homeless shelter and seniors home that JPUSA runs. It's awesome! Like a church that lives together and has plenty of on-site Bible studies and worship times that you can join any night of the week - or just go out with a small group to run around the town. Great environment. Imagine a camp retreat that never ends.
There are so many traveling young adults like me who are here for a few days to a few weeks or months, as well as people who've been here for 30 years, including some of the seventies babies who still live here to this day. Anytime of day when you're not on duty you can come down to the dining room and find a bunch of young adults chatting or playing cards, or saunter up to one of the lounges where a group will be jamming or watching a movie in the later evenings. Always people around and never a chance to get too lonely or bored.
Chicago itself is a great city (some call it NYC done right). It's huge and there are so many great jazz and blues scenes, not to mention great dancing... I saw country singer Gretche Wilson for free this past Saturday at Chicago's Country Festival. How great a time I had! Much line-dancing did I. The weather is fantastic and very warm. It's been in the 80's plus humidity all week - we've been running around town in shorts and t-shirts (for those of you in Celcius land that's around - how's the temperature up in Ottawa anyway?)
All that being said, I do hope to come up with funds to be back in time for my birthday on the 25th, though I'll likely come back to JPUSA this summer, at very least for their big Cornerstone music festival a few hours away. I don't think it's my permanent home (building is old and much of it is quite run-down and always undergoing renovations here and there - it used to be a hotel belonging Al Capone - and the office building was once his brothel if you can imagine! - and Chicago is known for its cockroaches, of which I have already met a few here).
But right here, right now. I'm happy. My new friend Aaron finally did get off the phone the other night and I've been having a marvelous time chatting with him into the wee hours. And speaking of wee hours, now I'm off to bed since I have kitchen duty in 5 hours and my roommates will wonder what became of me when I'm absent half the night.
Tags: chicago, toronto journey
I'm in CHICAGO!!! :)|
Twice as big as Toronto, I don't know what made me think I could capture this city in such a short time! But I'm loving it here.
Having left Ottawa on Friday September 26th 's overnight bus, I arrived in Toronto on Saturday morning having had not a wink of sleep. Try sleeping on a wooden roller-coaster and you might understand why this was the case. I saw my swing friend Alisha in her children's musical production of the Ugly Duckling (complete with sweet Charleston moves), I enjoyed a fantastic meal at a raw foods restaurant, I smashed my head into a hanging plant (a delightful experience this was), and then I kicked around Toronto until my ride was ready to leave.
Which didn't occur until 4pm Wednesday October 1st. I was hesitant about leaving at this hour because my housing at Jesus People USA (JPUSA) hadn't yet been confirmed and I knew we'd be arriving late. I was right to be wary: After a very long drive, Allan and I arrived in Chicago at the door of JPUSA at almost 3am and were told to come back tomorrow since the housing coordinators were already in bed. Bummer.
So we drove another hour to a truck stop where I slept almost comfortably in the back seat of the car, 'showered' in the truck stop bathroom sink because I wouldn't dish out $10 to use their showers (bottled drinking water is one thing, but I'm NOT going to pay that much for water to be poured on my head!) and got to laugh at the strange array of foods available for truckers – including 'self-heating' meals. Yum. I passed.
After checking into JPUSA and meeting my new roommate for the weekend (a vivacious and delightful African American Messianic “Jew-nitarian”named Lia, who much like my friend Ulyn has a phenomenal singing voice) we cruised through downtown Chicago until our feet hurt and our stomachs screamed.
What a thrill! I've seen several movies based in Chicago, and to be walking along the waterfront in sight of the Chicago skyline was like walking into a page of my book of daydreams. We rode the 150 foot ferris wheel at Navy Pier which enabled me to get some fantastic shots of the city – though I'm told the great 1893 World Fair in Chicago had a much bigger ferris-wheel – and that a much bigger one is in Chicago's future plans.
We also found Millennium Park and the famous 'big bean' (officially entitled “Cloud Gate” - a large sculpture plated with smooth stainless steel plates thus enabling amazing reflections of people and of the Chicago skyline. Also in Millennium park was Crown Fountain, a fountain featuring faces of Chicagoans that intermittently spits water out of the 'mouths' and out onto the sidewalk. (Don't worry, I took pictures and a video).
All in this same day (yes, the day after we barely slept in the luxury of the car) we also took in a couple hours of the Art Institute of Chicago because it was free day. Got an amazing shot of the sunset through the Sears and another prominent building.
And there was morning and evening the first day.
Friday saw the beginning of WCLX. I still can't believe I got to attend a lindy-hop event in Chicago! Me!! In Chicago! The big city with all the phenomenal jazz and blues scenes and an exchange with over 300 people. Oh the dances I danced! The people I met! I could rant on and on about all the lovely dancers who gifted me with fun dances into the wee wee hours this weekend. Doug, Christian, Andy, Leo, Thomas, and even Andrea with her amazing photographic skills and butt shots... Thanks to them I laughed, I smiled, I felt appreciated and even loved (the consensus is that I am an “interesting person”). The bands, DJ's, and venues were amazing too! Good memories. Thanks y'all. :)
The post exchange brought some interesting experiences. My driver was so tired that we nearly got into a car accident after the late-night. We'd driven the DJ to the airport (or rather he'd driven him – I had to get out of the car and wait an hour and a half outside a gas station since the DJ's cologne had exploded in his luggage, rapidly making the car REAK like a man bathed in musk oil and I as a result was on the verge of nausea and passing out). By 8am, after three nights of 5am dancing, we were a few minutes from JPUSA when I noticed we were careening straight into the back of the car in front of us without any sign of slowing down. “Woe”, I said. Then “WOE!” I shouted. We screeched to a sharp stop mere millimeters from the car. Wow.
Logic would've sent me straight to my room. Common sense would've sent me to bed. But three days of living with little more than 5 hours of sleep tends to banish both. Upon entering JPUSA, Aaron, the friendly blond-dread-haired man at the front desk, persuaded me to join him on a shopping spree to a nearby thrift store that was having a 50% off sale. He'd been up all night doing the night shift so we were both zombies, laughing in the book corner over some Politically Correct Fairy Tale books.
After sleeping all day Monday, I zipped out to a jazzy bar called Fizz Club where I enjoyed some farewell dances with some of the terrific people I'd met at the exchange. I sat out in the car chatting with Andrea who'd driven me home – a ten minute conversation that turned into an hour and a half cause she's such an awesome person. I then wound up spending the remainder of the night reading the PC books with Aaron to help ease him boredom of front desk duty alone. Yes, only for that reason ;) I don't enjoy his company at all or anything :P
I saw another museum Tuesday (an awesome history museum where I got to see one of the original lion pieces that adorned the great blue wall of Babylon) and then spent time hanging out with the JPUSA folk. Great people. I have lost much sleep as a result of time spent with them but it's been well worth it. I'll write more about this Christian community in a future post. Far too much to say on that account. :)
Today was my final day in Chicago - at least this time around - I'm already planning/dreaming of a return trip in June or July (in time for the JPUSA Cornerstone Festival). I visited the John Hancock building - world's tallest multi-purpose building. There's a grocery store, fitness center, condominiums, office buildings, loads of other stores... and a fantastic observation deck in which I spent roughly 4 hours taking multitudes of pictures and watching the sun set.
We leave for Toronto first thing in the morning. I'm waiting around to say goodbye to Aaron but it looks like I won't have the chance. He's been on the phone since I got back at 11 - it's now going on 2:30 in this time zone. Which figures, but maybe it's just as well. He's only planning on being here 2 months so he'll probably be gone by the time I return, if I return. He'll probably just be another one of those really cool people I cross paths with just once in a lifetime. That's how my life tends to fly. Stiff upper lip, ya know? I mean I have the joy of traveling and with that naturally comes the sadness of leaving people behind.
Still, I've had a marvelous time in this great city of Chicago.
Fool That I Am|Fool that I am,
For falling in love with you.
And fool that I am
For thinking [you'd love] me too.
You took my heart,
Then played the part of little coquette.
And all my dreams just disappeared
Like the smoke from a cigarette.
Fool that I am,
For hoping you’d understand.
And thinking you
Would listen to
The things that I had planned.
But we couldn’t see eye to eye
Darling, this is goodbye.
But I still care
And oh! Fool that I am!
But I still care.
Fool that I am.
~~Etta James, blues singer en excellence, singing my heart today~~
(Listen to song here: http://www.skreemr.com/link.jsp?id=65524752525960
Current Mood: disappointed
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