"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Friday, January 30, 2004
Chatting with Infinity
God Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe
2 still capitalized : the one who will always listen and always love me; the one I will always pursue
Well, Father, I'd like to take notes this time, is that OK?
Good. I'm down, dear Father. I am so discouraged. Things at work, things at home, things in between, nothing seems to be working right. And the feeling goes deep into my gut. I don't know if this is me or my illness that makes me feel this way. Either way, I do feel it. And I am embarrassed to even mention it, Father. When I sit in your presence, these things seem so small.
You are always important to me. Bring your troubles to me, no matter how large or small. It gives me praise when you lay your troubles at my feet.
Life seems such a struggle sometimes, and I get so discouraged.
I know struggle. I have placed this into your life for a purpose. I have done this because I love you deeply.
I know. You would never do anything or allow anything that was not part of your plan, even if it hurts for a while. And I am stronger than I was, even if I don't feel that way. I have more wisdom, I take my time more, I have more empathy for others. Actually, I even have more love within me than before, and that grows each day.
See? Are these not good things worth the price?
Yes, yes they are.
Think of the prices I have paid. And what I bought with them.
A debt I can never repay, and a gift so undeserved.
There always must be a price.
I am molding you.
I can tell, believe me!
You are stubborn and prideful, and I am taking that from you one piece at a time. But my chosen people were also stubborn and prideful, and yet I loved them and still do.
I love you with a love that transcends all the understanding you could possibly have. Each tear you shed is my tear, each sigh is my sigh, each pang of sadness inside you I feel just as you do. These things must come to pass, but I will neverabandon you or let you slip away.
You are safe in me. Safe in my arms.
Yes, safe. Safe in your arms. Even when I feel like this.
Yes, even when you feel like this.
Thank you, Father.
Call me Daddy, that's what my Son called me. Abba means Daddy.
Then, thank you Daddy.
Prayer does not change God, but changes him who prays.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)
di-rec-tion Function: noun
1 : guidance or supervision of action or conduct : MANAGEMENT
2 : the line or course on which something is moving or is aimed to move or along which something is pointing or facing
3 : Something I don't seem to have right now
"Why are you here?!?" she shrieked in a piercing tone that made all the fat ladies flinch.
I was sitting in my usual seat in the back row of my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, except that due to the snow earlier this week this was a different crowd, a different night, and a different group leader. This group leader had a habit/trait/style that involved some sort of shreiked statement every minute or so.
Yeah, so I'm overweight. Actually, according to my palmtop body mass index, I'm very obese. Could be worse, at least it is not morbidly obese. I showed that to a coworker a couple of months ago and she said that no I wasn't, and I thanked her for her graciousness.
Hey, I know how to read a mirror.
So, over the years I tried all kinds of things. Low fat, Adkins, South Beach, you name it. Sure I could lose weight. Problem was keeping it off. the only time I was successful at that was during an extended manic in 2002 when my body was running at warp speed for months. That is not a recommended diet plan!
"Why are you here?!?" she shrieked again. Pain shot up from my ears.
One brave lady near the front ventures an answer, hesitantly, "Um...to...lose weight?"
When they put me on meds for bipolar last year, the first thing that happened was that my body tucked on about 40 lbs, maybe more. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of the weight, and nothing worked.
One day I realized that I had lost the impetus to lose weight at all. So I joined Weight Watchers for the accountability.
"Well, of course you're here to lose weight," the group leader shrilled, "but why do you want to lose weight?"
Nobody had ever asked me that question before.
I mean, of course there are the standard answers. I will be more healthy. I will feel better. I will look better.
But none of these ring true in my head for a reason why, a goal to be pursued. Frankly, when it boils down to it, I could care less about being healthy, feeling better, or looking better. It's just not on my radar.
So what the heck am I doing at Weight Watchers then?
Logically, I know those reasons for losing weight are good ones. So I will show up at Weight Watchers each and every week for my weigh in, and that small bit of accountability will run this whole train.
It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses.
in-no-cence Function: noun
1 a : freedom from guilt or sin through being unacquainted with evil : BLAMELESSNESS b : CHASTITY c : freedom from legal guilt of a particular crime or offense d (1) : freedom from guile or cunning : SIMPLICITY (2) : lack of worldly experience or sophistication e : lack of knowledge : IGNORANCE [written in entire innocence of the Italian language -- E. R. Bentley]
2 : one that is innocent
3 : a quality that seens to be lacking in my life.
It was Winnie the Pooh that started it.
I was heading home today from a dual meeting with my therapist and my doctor. Amazing, that my life is now punctuated with psychiatrist and therapist appointments. I would never have expected myself to end up here, limping along with the help of chemistry and leased wisdom. But so it goes.
Yeah, I thought I was invincible. Guess what. I wasn't. Far from it.
I remember being young and looking at the future with nothing but promise and excitement. Now, I am older, and the years are wearing on me. I have seen all too many things, and swallowed all too many bitter draughts. I have learned that most of what I knew about the world was a lie from the beginning, because I could not tell the difference.
Life can be tough with a broken thinker, after all.
We each have our challenges. This is mine.
So, today I am driving home and I come to this redlight. While waiting for the light to change I glance over to the next lane, and there is a lady in a car over there looking down into her lap. I can't see her face because she is short; she must have been looking in her purse or something. Then I look into the back seat.
And there on the window is one of those sun blocker things, you know, the ones that pull down like a shade. And on it is an idyllic scene with Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Owl cavorting under a tree.
I am transfixed by the realization that in some lives, Winnie the Pooh and all that he represents is a part of day to day life. This epiphany catches me by surprise.
I remember how I felt about characters such as Winnie the Pooh when I was little. They made me feel very secure and very loved. I'll bet that when the mother in that car picked out that sunshade, she felt that too. I mentally put myself into her head, and I felt echoes of that secure feeling as well, memories of years long past.
Such things don't go away, do they?
We just walk off, a bit at a time, until we can't see it anymore.
Well, I want to see it. I want to feel that joy, that security. I want to leave the seriousness and grayness of my life, at least for a while.
I want to be innocent again.
I want to feel that life is good, that everything is "OK."
I want to see Winnie the Pooh, and smile because all is right with the world and always will be.
God, please help me to walk back into the light.
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) "Emotions"
No definition or quote this time, just my Blogger Idol nominations for this week.
In no particular order, here they are:
Deneice ? My ideas of what freedom means to me right now!
Incredible blog, very powerful, this courageous girl is very gifted and her blog comes from deep within her. Highly recommended as a daily staple!
Thinking, Just Thinking This is what happens when you take wonderful storytelling skills and combine it with a wonderful story. Grab some Kleenax.
Silent Tribute Wow, this young lady has wisdom way beyond her years as a senior in High School.
(This is this week's Blogger Idol entry. The subject that was chosen for this week's entries was "Freedom.")
slave Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sclave, from Old French or Medieval Latin; Old French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe
1 : a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2 : one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
3 : What we all are, whether we know it or not
Let's dig into the concept of freedom for a few minutes, shall we?
To understand the full meaning of something, we must first know its opposite. So what is the opposite of freedom? Is it slavery? The common answer would be yes, that slavery would be the obvious counterpoint to freedom. But that's not it at all.
Look at me, can you not see my chains, floating gossamer in the breeze?
Rather, the opposite of freedom is anarchy and disorder.
Each of us is bound and held captive in some way or another. Our captivity takes many forms. Sometimes, it is that we have allowed someone else to entrap us. Other times, we have gladly taken on the chains that we wear. Still other times, chains have been temporarily forced on us and we will fight and tear at them until they break into pieces and we escape to a better captivity.
But there will always be chains.
See my chains, well worn and golden throughout, gleaming bright like sunrise over the ocean.
Some chains weigh us more than others. Chains that we did not choose weigh on us like mountains of desparation and resolve, or sometimes just floods of dispair. We never intend to stay bound by such chains, but it takes courage to break them, courage that may be hard to come by.
On the other hand, the chains that bind us most, weigh us least. We willingly embrace them like a homecoming.
When we choose our chains, that is true freedom, for that is the only real choice we will ever have in life.
See my locks and keys, made of love and light and hope.
I am free, because I have chosen my chains for myself.
My life, circumscribed.
What price for my chains? What price have I paid? Every link a treasure, no burden to carry.
I draw the borders and boundaries around my life, and free myself from the chains of others and from those who would enslave me. Only I will choose my Master, and thus I will be free.
The chains I wear will be chains of gossamer, light and binding and my own.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.
William Blake (1757 - 1827)