Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Nietzsche Was Right

In just a few hours Barb and I will take a much anticipated break. We will pack up and pick up and point the headlights toward Santa Cruz. We are staying in the hills close to Pescadero and will spend ample time in Santa Cruz and our favorite small town in this area, Pacific Grove.

It's been a while since we've done something like this. Usually our vacations are spent visiting family. Those trips are always good and satisfying, but this time it is just us. Santa Cruz is where one of our first dates was. Carmel and Pacific Grove is where we stayed for our six month "anniversary."

As I was putting together a cd mix for the trip I got to thinking about how so many important things have happened to me since moving here to NorCal. I attained a Master's Degree and worked three jobs during that time, one of them a life changing experience--an aide in a special education classroom with Erin, Roxanne, Barbara and Katie. I met and married Barb. Lived in the city. I have made so many great friends, several of whom are now living all around the globe. Although Mississippi is "home," in that it is where my roots are, this feels "home" to me.

It was hot last night and because we don't have ac I couldn't sleep. So at about midnight last night I stepped out in the backyard and looked at the Corte Madera flatlands, the apartments at Greenbrae and westward toward Mnt. Tamalpais and was irrevokably struck with what has occured.

Nietzsche was right, the greatest thing in heaven and hell is a long obedience in the same direction. He said that this long obedience results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sorrow Falls Like the Silent Snow

In 1934 Conrad Aiken wrote, Silent Snow, Secret Snow." That has influenced my thoughts that are below.

I remember waking up one winter's morning. My eyes were blurry and there was a new crispness to the air, even the atmosphere of my bedroom. I heard the door crack open and Mom say, "No school; it's snowing."

In one night the snow came silently and secretly, alarming no one as they slept. It was expected but it still came as a surprise. A brand new, thick blanket covering the world I had seen the day before; everything had changed.

Sorrow falls like that silent snow.

Last Saturday I found out that a classmate of mine from 1st to 12th grade died of stomach cancer recently. Tracy was 28. It has caused me to reflect. To reflect upon the stupidity of youth and the reality of our existence. Of course I could go into my regrets about school and what I could've to Tracy and how I could've been a better friend, but that would be really narcisistic. It's not about me or my feelings. It is about Tracy and her life. Her smile. Her friendliness. Her family and the one's she loved who are left to mourn.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hitch hiking and symbols

Off to see Hitchiker's Guide. Man, I could've used that years ago.

Things are busy but paced around here on the hillside these days. I spoke last Sunday and am speaking this Sunday. Last week I spoke on symbolism in worship. Symbolism is so powerful, yet we Protestants use so little of it. The first reformers threw everything out with the bath water. The truth the object symbolizes is more powerful than the object itself. Symbols are no good unless they are interpreted. So for those from a Catholic background the mass remained mysterious. The meaning of the images or the motions or the candles were not described and the language of the mass was uninterpreted. The search for meaning was thwarted by lack of translation.

Jesus said that we should live in such a way that others see our lives and honor our Father in heaven. He also said, "by this all will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." It seems that Jesus said and is still saying today that you and I worship leaders. You and I are icons, not in that flamboyant way, but symbols for worship.

To tell you the truth, that makes me uncomfortable because I don't want to lead anyone astray. I don't want anyone to stumble over me because the truth is that the cross itself is enough of a stumbling block already. Anyway, I'll fill you in on the coming Sunday's message as we ask and think about, "What is God up to?"

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jason's Inferno

I'm reading Dante's Inferno right now. It's in a modern translation, so I actually now what the heck is going on. It comes with contemporary illustrations like Los Angeles and San Francisco being the backdrop for some of the carnage with corrupted fastfood signage and garbage all over the place. It's quite fascinating. I love having a 700 year old classic at my disposal. The author took all the leg work out of understanding it. Now I know how some KJV protagonist feel. But that is really not the point of my story.

I've been thinking: Dante layers hell in various degrees. I wonder what mine would look like. Well, today I think that hell would basically consist primarily of having to create a multimedia presentation with moving images and jpegs using only Microsoft Movie Maker. It is the bain of my existence right now. And from the discussion boards online, I'd say it is hell on earth for many others. Luckily Barb's Ipod is nearby. I foresee a day when I am no longer on this cracking platform called Windows.

That's my rant. I think the Ibook's booted up. A way out of purgatory has come! Take me to the pleasant gates of music and video. I love thee, Ipod. Never shall I waste time on "the other."